Day 16 of Advent
Monday in the 3rd week of Advent
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Walk in the light
Here in the midst of preparation and expectation, in this season of Advent, we read a piece of the Passion narrative from Luke's gospel. Here, Jesus is betrayed by Judas and is about to be taken away by force to be tried and crucified. The juxtaposition of this piece of the Passion narrative with our focus upon John the Baptist and Mary leaves me a bit shaken. The powers of darkness seem stirred up in this harsh scene from the gospel, and we are left wondering about the power of light the power of God in the midst of betrayal, violence and darkness.
In yesterday's Collect in the Eucharist for the 3rd Sunday of Advent, we prayed, "Stir up your power," O God - but today, it seems that all that is stirred up is the power of darkness. However, as we await the coming of Jesus as a child in Bethlehem, and as we await the coming of the Cosmic Christ into our world, and as we await the final blessing and judgment of God, we also must contend with the forces of darkness in our world. It was but a few weeks ago that we prayed, "put on the armor of light" as we contend with the darkness that might assail us. Today's reading from the gospel reminds me that when we begin to walk the way of the light, when we begin to walk the way of Jesus, we do stir up the powers of darkness, because we become a threat to their power. Of course, the power of God obliterates even the mere thought of darkness, but in our time and in our present existence, we must contend with these powers, and put on an armor of light, and also pray that we might muster the courage of Jesus who was consistently contending with these petty dark powers.
So we pray, "stir up your power," O God, and help us to walk the way of the light, the way of Christ, even as we remember the times when Jesus, himself, had to muster the courage and conviction to overcome the darkness in the world.
~The Rev. Peter M. Carey
The Rev. Peter M. Carey Associate Rector
Emmanuel Episcopal Church Greenwood, VA
Visit us on the web at www.emmanuelgreenwood.org