Advent: A Season Of Light
We are fast approaching a season of light. From the twinkle of Christmas lights, to the flicker of Advent candles, to the metaphorical glow on children’s faces, we are coming upon a time filled with light. However the irony isn’t lost: the days are shorter, the nights longer, and a cloudy gloom is building over the lake. The winter darkness is settling and Advent comes during the bitterest of those times.
Christmas has different meanings to different people. For some, it might be a season of presents or merriment or ponderance on “it is better to give than to receive.” For others, however, it could be a season of dread, loneliness, or financial constraints. And if that’s the case, why would anyone want to extend it with Advent?
The word Advent is derived from the Latin adventus, which means “coming” or “arrival.” It is a time of preparation and is divided between four weeks, each centering on a different theme. There are different themes between different groups or different orders of weeks, but for our purposes the first week is light. Light in the darkness.
That might seem a silly thing to reflect on for seven days. But for Advent, light has a different meaning. The Light of the World in the person of Jesus.
You may have guessed the “coming” or “arrival” was about Jesus’ birth. The scene is all too familiar: a manger, shepherds, maybe an angel. While the star the wise men followed might seem like a fitting explanation for the symbol of light, it misses the mark. Actually, the light is Jesus himself. Jesus refers to himself as a light on multiple occasions. He said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12) and that those who saw him “Have seen a great light” (Matthew 4:16). His followers referred to him as the light of the world in several books of the Bible. He is the Light of Advent and came into the world at the darkest of times.
At Lakewood Anglican, we’ll open our Advent season with the concept of Jesus as the light of the world. Each week we will contemplate a new theme in how it relates to the larger structure of the Christian story. If this is something you’re interested in, or maybe haven’t ever heard, we’d love to have you join us. Sometimes we even have cookies afterward...
Lakewood Anglican Church meets at 4pm on Sunday afternoons at the corner of Madison and Saint Charles. Visit our website: lakewoodanglican.com for more information. We look forward to celebrating this season of promise with you!
Andy Sutton is a medical resident and a member at Lakewood Anglican. He lives in Lakewood with his wife and son.