A few weeks back, when I arrived at the office in the early morning hours, I ran into a bit of a snag. The internet was down on the church campus. I proceeded to spend the next one and a half hours trying to get it up and running but to no avail.
Whether it be for email, pastoral care video calls, other communications, spiritual formation group meetings, online storage, file sharing, marketing, website development, graphic design, or more, it is incredible how much of our work depends on being connected live to the internet. Therefore, it is remarkably frustrating not to be connected to the network.
Have you ever felt this way with life in general? Things seem not to be connected, to the people around you, your work, to intention decisions, to a greater purpose.
For those that have experienced job loss, isolation, sickness, the upheaval of routine, and uncertainty of 2020, the feeling of disconnection is authentic.
An ancient prophet named Isaiah proclaimed that people walk in darkness, like living in deep darkness (9:2). It’s he knew some profound universal truth that we will all experience immeasurable obscurity in our lives.
But the prophet doesn’t stop with a message of gloom. Instead, he turns to hope, reminding us that a great light has dawned. His message is resolute: Though it feels like you are in darkness, the light is right here to connect.
Advent is an invitation to reconnect to the network, that is, the abiding and life-giving presence of God.
Daily, God desires to give us life to the full, the experience of fulfillment, grace, hope, purpose, compassion, and joy. Sometimes, it is just so hard to believe it when we are experiencing darkness.
In Advent, we discover that it is not some politician, economic status, consumption of goods, or vertical life experience that will give us completion. Through the coming Christ Child, we are invited to see our light has dawned.
And so this Advent season, whether you are a person of prayer or not, I invite you to reconnect with the abiding presence of God. Speak out to the one who is with you in the darkness you experience. Speak out with whatever words come to mind as you desire to experience light. Speak out, knowing that you are already connected to the life-giving network of your Creator.