The Collect for the First Sunday in Advent calls upon God for
the grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.
When we handed the infant child baptized last week a lit candle, what kind of blessing did we offer him? The Light of Christ is not only a comfort, but it is a warning. It is not only a guide, but an armory. The work of walking in the shadow of the cross is not all sweetness and light, but it may be a fierce trail to blaze.
In my imagination, I am transported back to the southern downs of England, in 1588. As the Spanish Armada is spied out at sea, the message leaps like lightning from beacon to beacon across the hilltops; a warning, a command, a call to arms.
This is the Advent I anticipate.
Shine as a beacon in the darkness.
Shine as a lighthouse in the storm.
Shine with the light of Christ,
which will never be overcome.