Seasons are important. They remind us of the rhythm of life. It doesn’t matter how cold or severe the winter is, eventually
spring will come. I remember my mother sending flowers to a family up the road who were going through a really terrible time. On the card she wrote “If winter is here, can spring be far behind?” At the time, it struck me as a bit cheesy, but it has stuck with me all these years and there is some truth to it.
The tips of the spring flowers are beginning to poke through the soil in the garden, new growth is already happening below the surface as roots develop and reach out in search of moisture and nutrients.
In church too, we have our seasons. They remind us of the different aspects of our faith journey. Some traditions mark these seasons by liturgical colours (altar cloths, stoles and other vestments) – for example, purple for Advent and Lent, to symbolise solemn times of waiting and preparation; white and gold for celebrations such as Christmas and Easter, red for Pentecost and Christ the King.
At the moment, we are in Advent. Each Sunday, we pierce the gloom of the winter’s night by lighting a candle in the Advent wreath. It reminds us that even in the greatest darkness, there is still light.
In Advent, we wait for the greatest light of all to come. Although we may have celebrated Christmas each year for many years, it is still possible to ponder the miracle of God becoming human with fresh minds and open hearts, just as we marvel at the new shoots making their way through the soil.
May you find lightness in the darkness this Advent.