Lord, we beseech Thee, give ear to our prayers, and lighten the darkness of our hearts, by Thy gracious visitation; Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
-- Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church
Winter is a time of physical darkness--short days, long nights, and time huddled inside to avoid the cold. The season of darkness affects us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Many folks struggle with the blues during winter time, to the point where Seasonal Affective Disorder has become a recognized condition.
The physical darkness of winter is representative of the spiritual darkness that also surrounds us, which we can be more susceptible to in times of depression or feeling blue. As we withdraw from the outside world in an effort to stay warm and cozy, the darkness can envelop and trap us in ways we may not consider during brighter times of the year.
But in the midst of physical and spiritual darkness, God comes to us during Advent. We are, of course, well attuned to his coming in the Christ child that Christmas so long ago, but he continues to come to us now in the bread and wine, in the hearing of his word, and in the consolation of Christian friendships. This week we pray for God, in his mercy, to hear our prayers and 'lighten the darkness of our hearts.'
Come quickly, Lord.
Photo by Esteban Hernandez on Unsplash