Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

(Photo: Luis Gomez, "One Photograph a Day")

It seems sort of ironic that the third week of Advent, the week we assign to "Joy," bookends a week in which Mother Nature hurls us headlong towards the longest night of the year. The world is rapidly enveloping in as much darkness as it can muster. Paradoxically, people in liturgical churches often use this week as a week to reflect on what needs reconciliation, and sometimes we most palpably feel what cannot be reconciled this year. It's a week that our Sunday service springs that pang of desire for the Savior's arrival to lead us from that darkness--we start singing "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." We light that one pink candle in an Advent wreath throned with deep purple candles--yet even at the tops of the dark purple candles are light.

My quiet time this week has often drifted to what might seem like a strange image for "joy"--A single street light illuminating a dark intersection--a light valiantly resisting a large patch of dark. But as the meditation evolves, looking beyond that one light's power to resist, another light can be seen further down the street--and another--and still yet another--until the realization comes that the whole street is filled with many lights.

Then, suddenly, it's like in Isaiah 9:2: "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined." In my mind's eye, I realize that at first what seemed like my own lonely little light, fighting a vortex of dark, afraid to venture beyond it, is really only a few steps from the light of another--and perhaps the person standing under that light had felt just as isolated, just as fearful.

Joy resides in the recognition of the light--both our own, and in the lights of others. The dark cannot be conquered by one, but it can by many "ones," all awaiting the coming of Light of the Prince of Peace



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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