I guess it’s no mistake that Advent is the darkest time of the year. Not only do we have the least number of hours of daylight, but the weather also tends toward gloomy and dark. Add to that the sin-darkness of our planet, the sickness and poverty around us, and the seemingly never-ending wait for answered prayers, and we easily get into the subdued and melancholy world of Advent.
The Christmas rush and loudness contrasts this blackness of spirit. People either tend to block out any spiritual meditation on the season by an endless stream of numbing busyness and frivolity, or they find themselves in a funk of life’s troubles.
But, I praise God for Advent. We look forward, not to just Christmas festivities, but to the actual coming of Christ into our lives with light and hope. My old friend, Charles Spurgeon, in his devotional on this date, sums it up perfectly:
Evening Brightens into Day
|It shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.||—Zechariah 14:7|
“It is a surprise that it should be so; for all things threaten that at evening I time it shall be dark. God is wont to work in a way so much above our fears and beyond our hopes that we are greatly amazed and are led to praise His sovereign grace. No, it shall not be with us as our hearts are prophesying: the dark will not deepen into midnight, but it will on a sudden brighten into day. Never let us despair. In the worst times let us trust in the LORD who turneth the darkness of the shadow of death into the morning. When the tale of bricks is doubled Moses appears, and when tribulation abounds it is nearest its end. This promise should assist our patience. The light may not fully come till our hopes are quite spent by waiting all day to no purpose. To the wicked the sun goes down while it is yet day: to the righteous the sun rises when it is almost night. May we not with patience wait for that heavenly light, which may be long in coming but is sure to prove itself well worth waiting for? Come, my soul, take up thy parable and sing unto Him who will bless thee in life and in death, in a manner surpassing all that nature has ever seen when at its best.”