There are some mornings I wake with dread; things press in and I lie gathering my courage to drop under it all to where that terrible tension will be distilled in Love. This is the Advent week of Love.

I’ve been thinking of how love has become such a thin word in our culture, a tame word.  Perhaps because it has become separated from fear.  It has lost its complexity. Mystery has been banished from it. Yet, in so many of the stories for this season people still walk in Love, in love, even though they may wake with dread or confusion or the wash of loss, even when they are afraid.

“love has become such a thin word in our culture, a tame word.”

Mary wonders if Joseph will ever walk through her door again. Zechariah coughs delicately, testing, wondering if his voice will be restored. Joseph worries, how can we do this thing, live this life?

 

“Don’t be afraid”, the angel says, but really, I think, this means don’t let your love be smothered by your fear.  Walk into Love, walk love even when you are afraid.  Love is a risk we take, an opening of the door to our fragile hearts, over and over again.  Love is a brave and beautiful choice we make, the courage to welcome beauty in strange and uncertain places we may not have wanted to be.  But before all this, Love is.

Love is both particular and vast and holds, our sense of loss and longing, holds us, as we ourselves become Love.

May this be a darkness you can tell yourself to without reserve.

We know there are many long nights and there are mornings of dread.  But there is always Love. Tonight, is the longest night.  May this be a darkness you can tell yourself to without reserve.  May you be comforted, encouraged and enfolded.  May you continue to take the long risk of love.

You can find a song for The Longest Night here. You can read earlier Advent reflections here and here.