It's dark out there. And Happy Christmas!
Advent reminds us of many things, one of which is that God came to us in the dark. It is a time to consider the primordial darkness before the light of Christ, through Mary, broke open ancient night of a fallen world. Advent is a season where we meditate upon the supernal darkness of the antique world in contrast with the life that is the "Light of men." This is what is contained in those beautiful prophetic words of Isaiah:
The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.
As the rest of Christmas story plays out over the next 25 days, we find that the conflict does not diminish. If anything, it continues in the same diabolical way, but the difference is that as the light shines, it is exposed as evil. We see this evil manifested in the Christmas story almost immediately, as Herod sends his soldiers to "slay the little childer" and in the Holy Family's flight to exile in Egypt, not to mention the Feast of St. Stephen on Dec. 26th.
These things should give us pause to consider what is happening in our own day. Allegorically, it seems that Herod has re-emerged today and has once again sent his soldiers to slay not only the children but also the family. We can identify with Josef and Mary as we find ourselves driven into exile by the state's attack on sex, marriage, and the family. But let us not forget that "the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not" (John 1:5). Let us not forget the fact that our Savior's life and rule has long threatened (and been threatened by) the raging heathen nations. But let us not forget the declarative promises of Holy Scripture, which Handel so masterfully weaves into the Christmas oratorio, that "The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ" (Rev. 11:5).
Here's the agenda for today