Monday, December 03, 2012

Reflections: First Week of Advent

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of
darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of
this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit
us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come
again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the
dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
for ever. Amen.

BCP, Collect for 1 Advent 

I woke up this morning thinking about where I live. Not where I live physically, but where I actually live no matter where I am – in the presence and love of God.

That doesn’t occur to me as often as it should: as a child of God, I live constantly in his presence and in his love. Nothing can separate me from it, though there are days when I may not feel worthy of living there or graceful in living there. It is still where I abide, because he abides in me. He has made me his own and called me out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his wonderful light!

There are days when we need to actively “cast away the works of darkness” as the collect for this first week of Advent reminds us. It may be that we do that through choosing to do the right thing rather than the wrong thing (or the hard thing rather than the easy, convenient thing) or it may be that we need to cast away the works of darkness that would tempt us or trip us up. Casting away the works of darkness involves dressing ourselves in the armor of light. That armor protects us when we battle the enemy, and helps us to move forward with courage.

Choosing to remember where I live is, for me, a big part of the casting away the works of darkness. I do not need to dwell in despair, restlessness, anxiety, lack of hope, apathy, or anger. I may feel all those things from time to time, but I do not live there. Remembering that I am a child and a follower of the One who “came to visit us in great humility” and who will return one day “in his glorious majesty” goes a long way toward keeping me dressed, each day, in light.

Choose to put on light today, and remember that if you are a follower of Jesus, that is the nature of the kingdom in which you truly dwell. He is the Light of the world. He is your heart’s home.


Edna said...

I have tears in my eyes. I needed to know this tonight. Thank you!

Beth said...

Oh Edna, so thankful it was what you needed to hear!

I plan to write a reflection for each week of Advent, but this week's has been derailed a bit by a terrible bout of flu. (My bout; thankfully no one else in the family has come down with it yet.)

Praying you are having a blessed Advent!