According to the Christian Calendar, Sunday, the 27th of November, is the first day of “Advent.” Most mainline Protestants know that Advent concerns the coming of “Light” into the world and further, that this Light is incarnate in Jesus. The Light and Jesus have been so interconnected over the centuries that Advent now has more to do with the birth of Jesus, and the Light seems to have taken a back seat. If anyone would disagree with this statement, I would just mention, “Black Friday,” as evidence.
The coming of the Light, which is the wisdom of God concerning our existence, has been celebrated through the millennia into times before times; just let us think about those who worshipped the sun and the moon. These different lights symbolized the many tensions of existence and the battles played out between the seasons of the year. The “Christmas tree” is a relic of much power with its blazing lights shinning during the darkest time of year and with the shortest days in the northern hemisphere. The Tree’s birth begins with a campfire, maybe lightening or volcano, or all of the above and it is certain that the ancients knew walking in the light is easier than walking in the night with no light. Every human being knows the importance of light when trying to walk in an unfamiliar environment at night.
For Christians, Jesus is certainly a powerful architype for anyone who humbles themselves to God’s will by opening themselves up to receive the Light. If we do not look at Jesus as “The Light,” but as one who receives the Light, the advent of God’s wisdom symbolizes the Word/Logos, originally referred to in the feminine as, Sophia, coming to life in the heart of the believer. This Wisdom of God speaks to every person of every generation who has come to the realization that life is in an eternal embrace with the Divine. Life and the Divine are inseparable. As the author of John confesses in the beginning of that gospel, “What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.”
The Prophets Isaiah, and many more of the anointed mystics, speak of being quickened by this Word and its way of continually being present in its three states of being in time – past, present, and future. To begin to understand just what all this means, that is, the coming of the Light into the world, we must look deeply and honestly into our own hearts and accept what we “see” through the lens of the Light. The “catch 22” is we must let the Light look into our hearts so as to reveal to us that which we fear and who we are as Children of the Light.
At some point in our lives, those of us who have come to look to the stories of God’s anointed one called, Jesus, to feed our heart’s imagination for the Divine, ask the questions, who are we as human beings; what is the meaning of life, if anything; What does it mean to be called “Children of the Living God;” and the biggest one, why, if God is so loving and powerful, is there pain and death?
Inherent in these questions is an awful lot of ignorance about ourselves that we have come to call the darkness. To know nothing of who we are in relationship to the God of Eternal Life is to live in darkness. The reason for all the pain and death on the earth, according to the prophets, is attributed to our state of being totally unaware of our own “oneness” with each other in the life of God; whose love and grace is to be given exuberantly and without reservation. All of the prophets were and are concerned with just this: “Who are we?” Their answer has always been, Children of the Living God.” This has been said in many ways, by many people in many religious traditions, for the Light speaks the language of the heart which transcends all human languages.