An Advent Reflection
The theme of the fourth week of Advent in our parish is “The Promise of ‘God with us’” from last Sunday’s readings. Today’s advent verse is from the book of Isaiah.
The sun shall no longer be your light by day,
nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night;
but the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory. –Isaiah 60:19
My nephew is in Sweden as an exchange student. The sun rose in Stockholm at 8:44 am today and will set at 2:49 in the afternoon. I have never had the opportunity to experience this, but winter nights were still long in Northfield, Minnesota where I went to college. The sun will set there at 4:35 p.m. today.
Winter darkness and winter cold go hand in hand. Warm spring and long summer days come with the light. I like winter. I like a warm house and soup simmering on the stove. I like the crunch of snow beneath your feet and the warmth of hot chocolate in your hands. But winter pulls us in; summer pulls us out. Summer is parks and picnics and gatherings and play.
So the prophet declares that in the days to come, when earth and heaven are reconciled and God comes to dwell with us, it will be perpetual summer. Our seasons and moods will no longer be determined by the cycles of the sun and moon, but by the radiant light of God. Perpetual light. Perpetual joy. Perpetual life.
And that wondrous light has dawned among us. The child is born.