Friday, December 07, 2007

Season of Light

Tonight, many of my neighbors in New York City are celebrating the fourth night of Chanukah (or Hanukkah), the Festival of Light. We Christians are in our own time of light, moving through this first week of Advent. I don't think it's a coincidence that two major world religions both focus on light in darkness as the days get shorter and shorter (at least in the northern half of the world).

I find myself focusing more and more on this light. What does it mean for the light to shine in the darkness? A Jewish friend of mine asked me the other day what Advent is. "A time of preparation," I told her. "Of expectation, and anticipation."

I have to admit, this is my favorite time of year. For Christians, technically, Easter and Lent are more more important holidays. I don't think it's just because I love Christmas carols, lights, the smell of pine, and eggnog. It's certianly not the commercialism and consumerism. Ick. So what is it about Advent, and the expectation of Christmas, that I love so much?

I think it comes down to the hope. There is possibility at Advent. The chance for miracles--and not just on 34th Street or in a small Middle Eastern town 2,000 years ago, but next door, across the country, around the world. The air is filled with the hope that the light will break through the darkness, that good will overcome evil, that peace and goodwill will be among all.

My wish this season for all of you is that you find light in the darkness, and that you never lose hope.

Peace be with you.

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