Advent season is upon us. I revel in the decorations we have been putting up in the middle of Africa for two decades, the Messiah playing on an ipod, the cheery fire crackling as Kenya’s delayed rainy season seems to have arrived with intent to pour down two months’ worth of rain in two days. The Advent calendars are hung, and candles lit.
But Advent is not, first and foremost, a season of ribbons and light. It is the season of longing, waiting, expecting, preparing. And longing implies a lack of that for which we long:
Peace on Earth, because the world is now at war.
Light, because the darkness presses.
Reunion, because we are fractured and lonely.
All things made new, because they are so, so, broken.
In Advent we do not gloss over the chaos and darkness and evil. They are the context of coming.
Here in a land where terrorists attacked a bus last week and brutally shot 28 people, then attacked quarry workers in their tents shooting 32 and beheading 4 of them this morning, where we admit children spindly with malnutrition, where in the last week we lost a 4-year-old to TB and had a teenager in the ICU with previously unrecognized AIDS . .
In such a land, watching for the coming of the King is a matter of life and death.
So we begin Advent fully acknowledging the swirling sea of darkness, blood, tears.
We light a candle, a small circle of light, the beginning of victory.
Comfort Ye My People (Bruner) (link here)
Preparing for Christmas (Rohr) (link here)
Following the Star, online daily devotion from d365 http://d365.org/devotions/