“The darkness and the light are both alike to you.” (Psalm 139.12)
And yet still we pray: “Lighten our darkness, O Lord, we beseech thee…” (BCP Evening Prayer).
We have – I have – an ambiguous relationship with darkness and light. God, creator of light, is also creator of darkness. Without the darkness, there is no light. God is as much present in the darkness as in the light. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Isaiah 9.2). Perhaps it is only the blessing of darkness which gives us eyes to see so great a light.
And yet, how much would we prefer to live in the easy clarity of the light. How much would we prefer to see plainly what God is doing. But that is not how it is. God is a God of the hidden as much as the revealed, the night as much as the day, sorrow as much as joy, and darkness as much as light.
“As the night-watch looks for the morning, so do we look to you, O Christ” (CW Compline). We need the darkness of Advent to prepare our eyes to see, our hearts and minds to receive, the coming of the Light into the world.
#adventbookclub runs from 1st December until Epiphany. This year we are using “The Art of Advent” by Jane Williams, and raising some money for Mercy UK, a mental health charity over at the JustGiving page here. Search #adventbookclub on Twitter or Facebook to join in the conversation.