The Light Shines in Darkness, and the Darkness Has Not Overcome It

By Scott Paeplow, Campus Minister for Liturgical Music

I love the different liturgical seasons throughout the Church year and the way in which they provide a sacred movement and rhythm to how we worship. But I think Advent is my favorite season of all due to its emphasis on light amidst the darkness. The Advent season arrives at a time in the year where night seems pervasive, especially with the northern hemisphere’s natural and steady decline in length of days as we march towards the Winter Solstice on December 21st.

How blessed is it then to pray and worship within a liturgical mindset that places four candles at the center of the worship space, with more light being added as we move towards the Nativity of the Lord rather than diminished as it does outside! I think that this speaks to the remarkable wonder and mystery that is the Incarnation- that we believe in a God who IS the light that cannot be diminished, that the darkness cannot drive out. And more so, that this Light loves humanity so significantly that God would come in our lowly human form and journey through the human reality of suffering and death only to claim victory over those once and for all.

Even with the brevity of this Advent season, may we find new ways to allow the Light of Christ to enter into our hearts, drive out the darkness at the foundation of our fears, and bring light and warmth to others outside the doors of our Church.

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