As we near the end of the Church calendar, approaching Advent, many of us might be feeling a bit deluged by the approaching tidal wave of holiday seasons: cooking, company, shopping, wrapping, planning, juggling expectations, cards, more company, decorating, and so on. (All right, I am the one feeling deluged. I’m easily overwhelmed by high seasons. The very idea of Ordinary Time thrills me.)
My friend Ludolph is inviting me into a November consideration of what comes before Advent. In his reflections on the life of Christ, he does not begin with the Gospel narratives of angelic visitations, but with the “Eternal, Divine Generation of Christ.” Wouldn’t it be interesting if, instead of plunging directly into the Advent season, we had a mini-season in November that invited us to reflect on the Trinity, particularly as revealed to us in the Prologue to John, John 1.1-18? Before we ever get to “there was a man sent from God whose name was John” or to “and the Word was made flesh and lived among us,” we read about the Divine heart, the beginning, the Creation, and the power of the Light over the darkness.
Ludoph writes that John 1.1 lays bare the inner life of the Trinity: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” As Ludolph puts it, “All three Persons are implied in this clause: the Father by the noun God, the Son by the noun Word, and the Holy Spirit by the preposition with.” This Trinity sends, brings, and is Light, a Light that shines in the darkness.
Our darkness, this 21st-century arena of confusion, destruction, and brokenness; of war, malice, and starvation; of violent words, thoughts, and deeds.
His Light, an eternal Reality that cannot be put out, cannot be disbelieved to the point of non-existence, cannot be doused by any human or spiritual evil.
Today I read in 2 Peter about the prophetic word, the Gospel, being to us as a lamp shining in the darkness. Here we are. In the darkness. A Light shines, irresistibly bright and unvanquished, though all the darkness descends. We see it and draw near. There we must wait—attentively, patiently, steadfastly—until the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts. The Lamp, the Day, the Star.
Image by Marlon Sommer, Pixabay