I am reading an Advent devotional put out by Christianity Today and Rich Villodas reflects on Isaiah 9:1-2 in a powerful way.
Villodas pastors in New York City and is a native New Yorker. He admits he’s never been to the 9/11 Memorial. He hasn’t gone because it is a reminder of intense darkness.
To go to the Memorial would mean facing the darkness of that day all over again. Facing that darkness would remind him of the ongoing manifestations of darkness still pervading our world… and that is a tough burden to face.
This is Advent. It is darkness. It is not to deny darkness, but to admit, “There are people walking in darkness.”
Advent is in darkness because it brings the hope of light. In the darkness of our world, our own situations, our own tough stories, there is hope. It is the One who is the Light of the world.
Overwhelming light. Healing light.
We have to face the darkness. We have no idea what light really is without understanding the darkness we truly face.
It’s the same with Lent and Easter. It is understanding you MUST mourn at the tomb on Good Friday. You don’t know resurrection until you’ve stood at the grave.
The white American conservative church is in darkness. We haven’t wanted to face that darkness. We have felt that darkness edge in and we have used our fading power to falsely proclaim, “LIGHT!” We say with fading conviction, “Come on! Let’s stay POSITIVE!”
We want to proclaim ONLY what is “getting better” without walking in the darkness that still moves around us and understanding there are still things to face. Face them we must.
Villodas writes: “Advent reminds us that no matter how dark it gets, the light has come, and the light is coming.”
Let healing light come!