Marking the first week of Advent, we are to throw off the cloak of darkness and walk in the light of the Lord.
O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord
1st Sunday of Advent: Let us walk in the light of the Lord
Written by Geralyn Tan for Keeping Company. 2013.
The journey we make in Advent is like any other journey: a time of waiting, uncertainty and even trials. In the Second Reading, St Paul urges us, “…to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11) We are to put on the armour of light and to throw off the works of darkness, as if a cloak that covers us. To walk in the light of the Lord is our desire this week, and our aim is to remain faithful to this decision in preparation for the coming of the Son of Man.
Consider the experience of Mary, young and pregnant (in today’s context, a teenager mum-to-be) and on this journey with Joseph into parenthood.
Listen to the song Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant.
Consider the real presence of light in the lives of Mary and Joseph, but also the shadows of uncertainty.
Mary and Joseph make their way to Bethlehem. Obvious trials await them: difficult travel terrain, exposure to the desert elements and vulnerability to any number of potential threats. Their journey, although we know as the way of God, was for them, a gutsy act of faith and trust. They didn’t have our comforts and conveniences – no trains, no cars, and not even a cart to ride in. Wherever they went, they went on foot. I don’t know if there were signs showing them the way (certainly not the street signs we know), but imagine the vast openness of the land that is the desert, where the only certain way was forward.
But even that in itself was debatable: how would they really know they were heading in the right direction until they came across a landmark? Suppose that Joseph had a sketchy memory of the route back to his hometown? We can also note the interior journey of this couple. Impending motherhood and fatherhood has its own mystery. Sometimes there is strong faith, assurance and confidence; but there is also doubt, uncertainty and difficulties.
Our lives are very much represented in their story. We journey through life, it is ongoing, and sometimes we know what we’re on about or where we’re heading, and at other times we are not so sure. Only one thing remains constant: that the presence and love of God that always calls out to us, is always trustworthy and ever-faithful. We simply have to make the decision within us to put on the armour of light; to stay with God or not. To follow the way of the Lord is to walk in the light. May we keep our whole selves on the journey toward the light of Christ.