On this first Sunday of Advent we read from the Old Testament …
"The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. … For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end." Isaiah 9:2,6-7
Sitting in the early morning darkness for the last two hours, I kept pondering a poem of Dom Helder Camara, the saintly Roman Catholic bishop of Recife, Brazil:
Why fear the dark?
How can we help but love it when it is the darkness that brings the stars to us?
What’s more, who does not know that on the darkest nights is when the stars acquire their greatest splendor?
[Dom Helder Camara, "A Thousand Reasons for living." Fortress, 1981]
"Father, with this first Sunday of Advent we now begin preparation for the coming of your son. When you seem far away in the early morning darkness, you may be very close indeed. So we wait for you — for your coming as a baby, yes, but more for your final coming when the trumpet sounds, you appear on your apocalyptic white Horse, and time will be no more. We long to see you riding atop that galloping, frothing heavenly Stallion and seeing this everlasting insignia emblazoned on your robe: King of Kings and Lord of Lords."
Wait and watch for Him, my friends … be strong, take heart, your salvation is at hand!