Advent is the season of expectation and preparation, as we in the church prepare to celebrate the coming (adventus) of Christ in his incarnation and we also look ahead to his final advent as judge at the end of time.
The readings during this time do not only direct us towards Christ’s birth, they also challenge us in our modern reluctance to confront the theme of divine judgement, as Charles Wesley put it more poetically:
Every eye shall now behold him
Robed in dreadful majesty
As during the time of Lent there are no flower decorations in Church at this time and the colours of the vestments are blue or violet. But unlike Lent we are now in a dark and indeed darkening time of the year (here in the northern hemisphere!) and it is for this reason that emerging light has become so important during the holy season of advent.
It is not just a time of preparation, but it is a time of preparation for something, and that something is the light of Christ with healing in its wings, with peace to be urgently spread. That is why we light more and more candles on our advent wreath as the time of Christmas draws near!
3 December 2017