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Blog // Thoughts
November 29, 2005

Advent: Light In The Darkness

One thing I like about our current home is that we have large solid wood built-in cupboards in most rooms. In particular in the study/music room. But, the problem is, they are so deep, the room lights don’t illuminate inside them. As a consequence, these cupboards end up being more a hassle to use than […]

One thing I like about our current home is that we have large solid wood built-in cupboards in most rooms. In particular in the study/music room. But, the problem is, they are so deep, the room lights don’t illuminate inside them. As a consequence, these cupboards end up being more a hassle to use than they should be, they become crowded, cluttered and confusing all too easily.

One of the great themes of Advent is the idea of light of Jesus coming into the darkness of the world. As the prophet Isaiah writes,

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Theologians tend to draw attention to the way the light dispells the effects of ignorane, fear, or sin but all I can think about this Advent is how to light up my dark cupboards. This isn’t just because of the everyday angst they cause me. Rather, it is because these cupboards and their state is an outward reflection of the state of my soul.

That may seem a bit over the top, but the way we organise (or fail to organise) the environment around us is always a reflection of our inner state, or the struggles we face within our selves. For me, pristine tidyness is not the norm, but neither is chaotic disorder, which always acompanies rushed work, missed deadlines and a lack of productivity. It is such a mundane thing. If only I could see in my cupboards better, I might stand a chance of arranging the things, then would spend less time searching for pens, tools, strings or whatever else the moment needs, instead of finding myself often frustrated. I need to fix those spaces.

Which all raises an interesing question, because for most of us, we choose at this time of year to re-arrange our living spaces to accomodate the trappings of Christmas. The trees, the decorations, the extra large table for dinner. We re-organise our enviroment in the hope of a better state of being. We desire a break from the routine to experience more fully, more richly the relationships that matter to us (or we live with the frustration that our special events can’t seem to foster that richer experience).

To me, this is where the light breaking into the darkness starts. This is the liminal point, the edge as it where, between darkness and light. As we reshape our everyday every so slightly with a decoration here, a card there, we question our everyday experience. If only for a moment, there is a spark of something else; a hope or a desire of something more.

[tags] Advent, Christmas, Christmas Decoration, Theology and Culture [/tags]

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