From The Blog

Light in Darkness by Rev. Will Compton

Give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light…

My favorite collect of the church year (a collect is the prayer we read at the beginning of our worship that is different from week to week) falls on the first Sunday of Advent. Specifically, the first line from the collect above. I think about this collect throughout the year and I wait with anticipation for us to pray it once again in church, like we did this past Sunday.

Give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light…

It is Advent. Advent begins in darkness. Whether that be literal darkness because the days are getting shorter leading up to the Winter Solstice, or be it that our lives are filled with darkness: violence, division, name-calling, labeling, fear, intolerance, and yes…hate.

Nobody likes darkness. Darkness is scary. It makes us vulnerable. It renders the eyes unable to see perceived dangers lying in wait. It makes sense then, that it is more popular to decorate our houses with lights and lights and more lights in true Griswold fashion. We use these artificial lights in a vain attempt to drive out the darkness. But that is just what it is…a vain attempt. No matter how many strings of lights we purchase from Home Depot, this artificial, man-made light is not what drives out the works of darkness. This is not the armor of light we are called to put on.

Give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light…

As I write this blog, all 40 of our angel tree children have been adopted. Scripture calls us to care for the orphan and this is what we are doing. Purchasing gifts for these children is what drives away the darkness. Caring for these orphans is putting on the armor of light.

However, there is still work to be done.

As I write this blog, we have 45 Christmas food boxes left for Our Daily Bread. Each food box feeds a family of four and only costs $25 each. If my math is correct, the 200 boxes we fill at the Chapel will feed approximately 800 people in our own backyard during Christmas. Therefore, we need your help filling the 45 boxes we have left. If you or someone you know owns a business, we could use their help as well, filling the other Christmas boxes. There is a total need of 680. If we fill each of these boxes, that’s over 2,700 people who will eat at Christmas.

Put up all the decorations of red. Fill the mantle and the tree with lights. Go outside and put up even more lights in even more trees much to the chagrin of your neighbors. This is all well and good. But remember, when all of those lights are stuffed back in their boxes and placed once again in the attic, the darkness will still be there, for those lights are only artificial and temporary. The true light of this season, the light which casts out darkness, is in caring for the orphan and the poor.

Give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light…