For regular readers of my blog, it can be no secret that I love Advent. I love this season of preparation for the celebration of Christ’s coming into the world. I have to admit that one of my favorite things about Advent is my Advent wreath.
Here’s the thing about that “wreath.” I love light. I love candles. I think that candles and candlelight are beautiful. But I also love these particular candles because they represent Christ the Light of the World. I love the idea of Christ the Light coming into a world made dark by sin and Death. He brought his brilliant radiance into the world and changed everything.
As the Byzantine Tropar of Christmas says,
Your birth, o Christ our God, has shed upon the world the light of knowledge. For through it, those who worshipped the stars have learned from a star to worship thee the Son of Justice and to know you, the Dawn from on high. Glory be to you, o Lord!
Christ came into the world bringing light and truth. Even if Jesus wasn’t actually born on December 25, it is appropriate that we celebrate the coming of Jesus just after the Winter Solstice. As the days begin to lengthen and the daylight begins to increase, we celebrate the birth of him who must increase in our lives and our hearts, of him who brings light into our lives. And the darkness flees from Christ, the Light of the World. Darkness does not understand Christ. When we welcome Christ into our hearts and our homes, darkness has no choice but to flee from his light.
The light shines in the darkness and the darkness could not comprehend it.
Christmas is in 20 days. We are halfway through the Fast of Philip. My Advent wreath is half illuminated. We are halfway out of the dark. We are halfway to the great celebration of the coming of the Light of the World. As we complete these forty days, I encourage you to seek out the Light of the World and ask him to dwell more fully in your heart.