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Advent in the Dark

This guest post on Advent was written by Stephen Lawson for the Hopwood Christian Church (Johnson City, TN):

We are beginning to see a lot more sky around east Tennessee. The canopy of leaves, recently ablaze with reds, yellows and oranges has now largely fallen to the ground leaving limbs naked and providing us with an unobstructed vision of the blue-grey above. Perhaps it is one of God’s many small gifts to us that during the season when the sun seems to sprint from one horizon to the other we have the clearest vision of it.

At first brush, it seems strange that Advent and Christmas fall during this dark season. Why do we remember the mystery of the Incarnation, that most joyous event, when the earth is barren, dark, and cold? Doesn't summertime, with its flowering life ,seem like a better time to celebrate the birth of the life-giving Christ?