None of us want to be tricked, right?   To find out that we’d been wrong?    To find out that what we had waited for turns out to be not quite what we’d expected?

November 30 – December 1

wreath 1st sundayThe season of Advent begins today, but I’m still making the transition from the end of the last Liturgical year  to the beginning of this new one.    Just as Christendom in Advent ponders the meaning of  Great Darkness longing for the Coming Light, so I am moving from a time of darkness and difficulty to, now,  this time of looking for the Coming of our Savior.

I’m quite aware that the Advent Wreath is a rather new custom,  brought to this country by the German (Lutheran) immigrants, and then adopted by others in this, their new country.  But even though this wreath does not have a long tradition in our Church,  I think it’s an appropriate symbol.   As one more candle is lit on each Sunday of Advent,  the light increases, just as the Light of Christmas draws nearer.   It’s beautiful.   It’s meaningful.   It’s a visual aide to our reflection and increasing insight.

Everyone’s experience with Darkness is a personal experience.  Everyone’s longing for the Light That Is Surely To Come  is a reflection of his own unique needs.

Here was my Darkness  —  in November.

SAMSUNGIt’s the pond in my backyard.     You don’t get an icy hard surface like that unless there are freezing cold temperatures,  a steady bone-chilling breeze,  and a light snow to find its way into the crevices of the ice. . .and your neck and wrists and ankles. . ..

That was the weather we had for a week after the big Midwestern storms of two weekends ago.  That was the weather we had when we lost our power due to those storms.     No electricity for five days.  No lights.   No heat.   No water.

“Tricked out of my Adventure”

A dark, dangerously cold house.   It could have been an adventure under normal circumstances,  but even my “circumstances”  were dark:    I had a mild bronchitis.   I had developed painful shingles in and around my right ear…(feeling somewhat like an ice pick jammed into the ear drum).   And I had a slightly broken right hand.

There was no “adventure”   in my feverish sensitivity to the cold.    No “adventure” in running in and out of the house to get more firewood for the fireplace or more heavy buckets of water from the creek for household use.   And my hand began to ache with the weight of those buckets and bundles of firewood and my ear ached more from the cold wind.

By the fourth day, I looked upwards and cried “Uncle!!”  – figuratively speaking,   but He didn’t hear me instantly.   Even another day had to pass.

And I began to really understand my weakness and vulnerability, my alone-ness, my Hope for rescue.     My need to get out of this Darkness gave me an acute longing for relief.

But how tiny were my troubles!   How small I am, compared to the Great Darkness that the world lives in.    How much greater is the need for Light  to bring rescue and relief to all precious, vulnerable human souls,  really and actually unable to help themselves.

With what great faith and hope we can enjoy these Advent candles as, one by one,  during these next few weeks,  we experience the Advent of the Great Light of God approaching!

When He comes we will not be “tricked.”

To be tricked is to have your hopes and dreams – and needs – confounded.

As the priest begins the actions of the Holy Sacrifice on the First Sunday of Advent,  listen to his Offertory prayer:     “To Thee have I lifted up my soul;  in Thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed. . .for none of them that wait for Thee shall be confounded.”

I will hope and wait and prepare for His coming, and no power outage, no sickness, no broken hand,   no tricks or subsititutions will trick  or confound you or me.    The future is indeed bright!

Light those candles!

Adveniat, Domine Jesu!

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2 Comments on “ADVENT – NO TRICK”

  1. LorenT Says:

    I thought I was looking down at our earth planet from outer space from the picture. Your darkness gives me some light in my world. Thank you sincerely.

  2. Oh! My pond! It does look like our planet’s surface! Thank you for your comment. The Light of God doesn’t always dispel the darkness, but He is well-pleased with our faith during the darkness.

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