Well, one thing is for sure: I’m consistent. Each year at this time, I am drawn to the concept of the light coming after the darkness. Perhaps paradoxically, I embrace the darkness, the coziness that comes from it, the inward reflection it inspires, but only because it is filled with the light from the windows in peoples’ homes as we walk Brinkley, and by the light in our own home from candles and white twinkle lights. And so it’s this contrast of the dark and the light that captivates me, that beckons me through this season of Advent, toward the light of Christ on Christmas Day and the hopefulness of a new year.
Perhaps it’s because of this consistent wonder for me that I am most drawn to the Psalm in today’s readings, and perhaps it’s the English teacher in me that is drawn to the images of light in that psalm, and it’s the apostrophe of the psalm that speaks to the hopefulness I feel as I am ensconced in the light of Advent and of the coming Christ child. The psalmist calls out, “Restore us, O God,” a plea I know I feel intensely in this turbulent time of health, economic, and political unrest. I can’t remember an Advent when I felt a greater need to be restored than this one. The psalmist calls for God, the gardener who has planted the vine, us, to take care of it in its tenderness, its vulnerability, by shining His light on it, on us.
Now, I’m not wishing for anyone to perish, but many of us may feel ‘burned’ or ‘cut down’ by the events of 2020, and so this Psalm reminds us that God will put His hand on us, that He has already made us strong. And if, indeed when, He does place His hand on us, we will not turn our backs on Him, for He gives us life. We pray, ‘let your face shine, that we may be saved.’ And for me, it is the light from His face that sparkles through the twinkle lights, the candle flames, and the neighborly windows that cheers me in this time of growing darkness, saving me from hopelessness and granting me new life.
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