Advent is about Darkness being overcome by the Light, and this Advent has been very dark for me. I have had real struggles with grief, missing my younger brother and my Dad. Then, a friend lost his battle with depression and committed suicide. It has been a very dark season. However, I do know in my heart that the Darkness of Advent is giving way to the Incarnation, the Light of Christmas will soon be among us.
We all experience the darkness, and just try to think back to that dark night so long ago; a frightened probably very, young woman, her first Child. Darkness, who knows what kind of dangers were lurking in an unfamiliar city?
As a man, my thoughts often center on Joseph. Trying to help, not sure what to do... Mary crying out in pain, wanting to comfort her, the fears that must have gone through his mind. What if she dies? That was a very common thing in those days. He could not feed the Baby! He had no money to hire a wet-nurse.
This dark, scary, smelly scene doesn't quite match our glorious creches enveloped in incense during our crowded, candle lit Midnight Masses. The gleaming Angels and wondering Shepherds are not yet arrived. There are no Kings offering expensive gifts. Only Mary, Joseph and pain and the ever present Darkness.
There isn't any place in our lives that Jesus hasn't been. From the fear and darkness of that first Nativity, to the heights and Glory of the Mount of Transfiguration.
Joesph found that out that night, God was there, all was well, Darkness fled the newborn Light that he cradled in his rough, carpenter's hands.
Almighty God,as Your kingdom dawns,turn us from the darkness of sin to the light of holiness,that we may be ready to meet You in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.