Outside nature has wilted away. With few exceptions all the flowers have gone, leaves have fallen. Nature stands before us barren, brown and seemingly lifeless. Life has gone to sleep underground and inside the seeds and is now waiting for the blanket of snow. And yet, beneath the sleep of nature, behind the shortening days and the growing darkness, forces of life and light are at work, moving toward a new birth of the light, moving toward a resurrection of all life in spring.
It is no coincidence that it is this time of the year – when everything seems asleep, even dead – that we wait for a spiritual light to be born. When we look at a spiritual seed that is laid into the earth to overcome death.
Advent invites us to wake up to another realm of the world. Fall has been a busy time for most of us and we are often focused intensely on our material lives and on what is going on in the outside world. We are awake in this outside world but in another realm we are deeply asleep. Then Advent arrives and with it a growing realization that the spiritual forces that lead us to Christmas are speaking to our inner being. They want to lead us inside. We are urged to wake up to an inner light that wants to be born.
Advent is a time of awakening, of realizing that our existence in the outside material world is a form of sleep. And we are encouraged to wake up to a light-filled reality in the spirit – as Paul expressed it in his letter to the Ephesians nearly 2000 years ago:
“Awake, you who are sleeping,
Arise from the dead,
The Christ shall be your light,”
This contemplation by Rev. Contreras was inspired by Advent