The Challenge of Light

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

The Challenge of Light

advent is not about the coming
of a sweet baby.
it is not about sentimental,
trumped-up emotion.
advent challenges us
to an adult acceptance
of the kingdom of god,
to social imperatives,
to self-forgetfulness,
to letting go,
to a deliberate emptiness.

we like to make the Christ
into a perpetual baby.
we can cuddle a baby,
a baby asks nothing of us.
the Christ is so much more demanding.

advent doesn’t just happen
the four weeks leading up to Christmas.
our lives our one huge advent.
our lives are about bringing light
into this dark world.

in advent and winter we wait for light.
do we forget it’s up to us
to be light in the darkness
of a world that is

it’s easy to get hung up
in religion,
in practice,
in institutional think.
it’s easy to feel complacent
because we go to church,
because we give money.
the litmus test
is giving of ourselves,
is embracing mystery.
advent is not just a passive waiting.
it allows that we are responsible
to be light-bearers.