The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. — John 1:5 (NRSV)
Each year as Advent begins, I love putting up the Christmas tree and placing candles in the windows of my home. As evening falls, the lights fill the house with a cozy glow. Over the past few years, once the Christmas tree is up, I’ve made a habit of rising earlier than usual in the mornings. I don’t turn on any other lights in the house, but I plug in the soft white lights of the Christmas tree and curl up in a chair — usually with a cup of tea in my hand and a cat on my lap — to enjoy the glow of the lights in the early morning darkness.
I eagerly look forward to this time each day, and over time, this practice has become my way of embodying the joyful expectation of the season of Advent. As Christmas approaches, we await the coming of the Christ child, the one who lights up the darkness of our hurting world with the hope of justice and peace.
The promise of Advent — our Savior come to dwell among us — can so easily be overshadowed by the bright, shiny trappings of Christmas, but the soft glow of candles in windows and tree lights on dark mornings reminds me of the quiet hope we have in Christ our Savior.
May this hope be present for you and for our world this Advent and in all the days to come.