All my words feel hollow and misshapen this advent time. Life is about surviving day after day after day. Frankly it sucks. Yes it’s beautiful and I wouldn’t change it for the world but it still sucks. Big time. We are stuck here in this land of sleepless nights and long tiring days.
Joy enters through the back door. Dancing to Christmas music whilst making porridge in the morning. Cuddles on the floor with son1 as he demands books to be read to him. Christmas decorations up in our flat. The advent puzzle slowly pieced together. Sunset drives over the South Downs. Warm bodies to cuddle in the night. Brief moments of chat with the Husbandface. Light bleeds into the gloomy darkness. Yet I cannot conceive of or hope for change. This narrow world is all I can see right now but the light is not absent.
The light burns deep and long. This cave like existence is brightened and made endurable by the everlasting light who we look to in advent.
My hopes and fears are still met in him. In the baby Jesus. Immanuel. God with us now. There is nothing else to cling to in this broken messed up dark world.
There’s an old line in a song I’ve never heard but it goes a bit like this: ‘I’m gonna kick the darkness til it bleeds daylight’. That’s what we all try and do at Christmas with our sparkly trees, our street lights, our feasts and celebrations. We kick the darkness and we long for the bleeding in of the light. Trouble is our kicks are weak and faltering. We need a blast gun, a massive bulldozer and we need a bigger light. A light the darkness doesn’t know what to do with. A baby who grows to be a man to take all our darkness away for good. A baby who grows to be a man to live and die and rise again.
We need the light of Jesus changing the world, dealing with our pride, our greed and our selfishness. We need a light bursting our darkness so we can live as we were made to live, sons and daughters of the Maker of the world. We need this light so we can hope, so we can love, so we can live beautiful sacrificial lives for each other. Nothing else will work for the deep darkness of this world and our hearts.
I am glad this crazy weird advent that I know and have that light. I need it so I can know that all my anger and frustration that come from this sleep deprived life can be forgiven. So I know that with the dawn of each day comes fresh love and mercy into my dark narrow world.
In this deep darkness the Light has come and I am glad as my stumbling steps get me through each day. Somewhere out there I know that days will lengthen again, that I’ll have space to read and write, that I’ll be able to hold conversations again. There is hope because the people walking in darkness have seen a great light. Because unto us a child is born. Because the tender mercy of our God shines on those in darkness. There is hope. There is hope.