Advent 2020 = Awake in the dark

This year’s Advent theme is Awake in the dark.  We based it on the gospel for this coming Sunday from Mark chapter 13.  The reading begins with the sun being darkened, and ends with the words of Jesus: “What I say to you, I say to everyone: Keep awake.”  It has a serendipitous connection with Carolyn May’s November 15 sermon in which she talked about the goodness of Endarkenment.

One experience of being awake in the dark is the sleeplessness that comes with anxiety and fear – something we have each likely experienced in some form this past year. 

Another is a kind of wakeful alertness of late fall and early winter evenings – the light’s early retreat gifting an interiority within home, mind, and heart.

Advent is about watchfulness and expectation, with pregnancy as a primary metaphor.  Mary is our chief guide here.  During Advent, we are all pregnant, the world is pregnant, and what will come forth is only a yet-unrealized promise. 

Although the dark sometimes amplifies our fears, it is not ultimately to be feared.  The dark, like the womb, is a location of possibility.  Being awake in the dark is a way of making room in our homes, minds, heart, and the wide world, for the Divine gift that, even now, is forming anew. 


This and similar artwork from Elisa Leahy will accompany us through Advent.