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Advent: A Season of New Light

The soul’s dark cottage, batter’d and decay’d,

Lets in new light through chinks that Time hath made:

Stronger by weakness, wiser men become

As they draw near to their eternal home.

Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view

That stand upon the threshold of the new.

from Old Age by Edmund Waller


This excerpt from 17th century poet Edmund Waller's poem Old Age reminds me of what might be happening in Advent as well as with the "batter'd and decay'd" dark cottages of our soul. Having just moved into the second half of my 60's, I feel a bit battered and decayed, and yet in the "chinks" in my body which Time has made, there is new light shining in, there is clarity of thought and understanding, there is a sense of plateau of peace and calm.

I wonder if we can extend the metaphor to describe the season of Advent: the end of a year filled with all kinds of discord and disappointments, standing on the threshold of a new year filled with anticipation and hope, expectation and peace. As Waller says, "both worlds at once they view."

As we move into the second half of Advent, perhaps the "chinks that Time hath made" in our disconcerting memories of the past year will let in new Light, and that Light will guide us fully into the new, into the glorious impossible, God made man.

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.’ (Isaiah 9:2)

Watch for the New Light!



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