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Advent Day Twenty-Eight | Shit | Luke 2:16

Advent Day Twenty-Eight | Shit | Luke 2:16

Advent Day Twenty-Eight | Shit | Luke 2:16

So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.

As we await the birth of our Lord, Mary labors. She sweats. She screams. She bleeds. She prays. Things are dire. There is no hospital. There is no support team. There is not even room at the inn. She labors outdoors in a manger. There is pain. There is blood. There is fear. There is exhaustion. There is shit. No doubt. 

We sanitize Advent and Christmas. We forget about the shit. It is no wonder that the Christmas season is so hard for those who just don't feel joyful, hopeful, or blessed beyond measure. It is no wonder that we sometimes miss the point. 

As Advent draws to a close, I wonder what I should feel. I wonder what I should write. I am without words. So, I'll turn to someone else's for a minute. 

Today is the first day of Hanukkah. These past few months, I have taken a lot of comfort in Torah studies and reflections. Today, the reflection felt particularly fitting

"I don't think I am going out on a limb to propose the idea that one of the origins of the holiday of Hanukkah has nothing to do with the Maccabees, nor the miracle of oil. These are highly particularistic stories. Rather, Hanukkah has, in its distant past, the most universal of messages. It is a holiday about experiencing fear, vulnerability, and darkness and not being consumed. It is a holiday that reminds us that light and security will return again, as sure as we know darkness will return. These are the cycles of life. The challenge is remembering that the darkness will, in fact, retreat. So this too, like the story of the oil, is a story of profound faith."

Darkness will, in fact, retreat. It will. It will. It will. In the beginning, God created light. But, darkness remained too. God ordered them. Darkness succumbs to light again and again. There is a beauty in that daily death and resurrection.

Have you ever watched a sunrise? The darkness is so very dark before it's just not quite as dark anymore. Barely noticeable, it succumbs to the sun as it rises. It hangs on until that last second and, then, just isn't anymore. And, by that point, you've managed to almost forget what it felt like standing there shivering in the darkness awaiting the morning sun. 

Almost. 

The darkness will come again too. Surely, Mary knew that. She labored until she bore a son. The son. And, his name was Jesus. Shit. Just as soon as she bore him (and maybe even since that faithful day that he began to grow within her), she knew that there would be darkness again. But, looking down at his face those moments after his birth - those blissful moments where the pain has stopped and the fear is suspended and the hope is spreading through your body like electricity - in those blissful moments, she almost forgot the darkness. Almost. 

Does knowing that the darkness will come again make the moments of light brighter? I think probably so. It doesn't feel that way in the darkness. It doesn't. Because, it's too dark then. Too dark. But, those light spots. They are so very light. So very fragile (don't you feel it - because I do). This light we have, it's a fragile thing. (But, a powerful thing too.) It's everything. 

2016

2016

Advent Day Twenty | Raw

Advent Day Twenty | Raw