the land of deep darkness

the Light is dawning, the Light that darkness has not overcome.

we see it: the glimmer of promise, the hope of peace.

but the days are dark yet. wars and rumors of war. need. hunger. abuse. neglect. addiction. grief. loneliness. depression. sickness. pain.

how can we celebrate when so much is broken and lost?

advent is a time of waiting. we wait for christmas, like mary, waiting to give birth to the child of promise. like anna and simeon, israel's faithful remnant waiting for redemption. like the wise men, foreigners waiting to worship.

we wait, too: not for a baby in the manger, but for the time when Christ will come again and make all things right. when he will stamp out darkness once and for all.

until then, we live in the tension. the now and not-yet.

so we watch. and we wait. and we remind one another of the Truth--that Jesus is stronger than the darkness of this world, that his victory was ensured at the cross, and the days of death and suffering are numbered.

and we push back the darkness together.

linking up with the Bigger Picture Blogs.  their writing prompt was the carol based upon this poem:

Christmas Bells
    I  heard the bells on Christmas Day
    Their old, familiar carols play,
        And wild and sweet
        The words repeat
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    And thought how, as the day had come,
    The belfries of all Christendom
        Had rolled along
        The unbroken song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    Till ringing, singing on its way,
    The world revolved from night to day,
        A voice, a chime,
        A chant sublime
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    Then from each black, accursed mouth
    The cannon thundered in the South,
        And with the sound
        The carols drowned
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    It was as if an earthquake rent
    The hearth-stones of a continent,
        And made forlorn
        The households born
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    And in despair I bowed my head;
    "There is no peace on earth," I said;
        "For hate is strong,
        And mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!" 

    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
    "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
        The Wrong shall fail,
        The Right prevail,
    With peace on earth, good-will to men."  

   -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82)
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