Sunday, 30 November 2014

The coming of the light

Today is Advent Sunday - the beginning of the countdown to the feast of Christmas.   In the church, in spite of all the chaos and busyness of the season, it is a time of quiet anticipation and expectation, a celebration of light coming into darkness.  This time of year sees us move from Autumn into Winter, when the trees shed their leaves, the temperatures drop and we move into the darkest part of the year. 

In John Betjeman's poem Advent 1955, there is a lovely passage about how it feels this time of year

"It’s dark at breakfast, dark at tea,
And in between we only see
Clouds hurrying across the sky
And rain-wet roads the wind blows dry"
Lighting a candle in the darkness signifies light, warmth and hope. The act of lighting a candle or even kindling a fire seems to stir something within us.  A candle makes us stop and consider, to be quiet for a while.  In this time of frantic noise and flashing electric lights, to light a candle slows everything down and gives us time and space.
It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
Eleanor Roosevelt