By now the last of the leaves have likely fallen from trees in northern climates, and any still holding on look dry and dead. Snow has arrived in some places. Then, just as the cold nights in the northern hemisphere reach their longest, Mark addresses us with promises that the signs of the coming of the Son of Man will include… more darkness – the darkening of the sun, moon, and stars. If that makes you feel a bit off-kilter from the rest of the world that is all abuzz with the blinking lights of Christmas, you are not alone. The fact that today is the first day of the church’s new year is a stark reminder that we are meant to be out of step with the world, and in case we need an additional reminder our Advent texts brings the message home. The promise of Advent – even in the darkness, even when the stars begin to fall, even when the world seems off its axis – is that God is always at work in the world, and the light of Christ shines brighter because of the darkness.
Join us as we gather together to light the first candle on the Advent wreath.