Sometimes things just don’t go according to plan. Sometimes everything falls apart and is a mess. That’s the sort of beginning that this Advent Season has had for me. In the last week alone, I’ve come down with a cold, my father has had surgery, and today – the first Sunday of Advent – was marked by a storm that brought freezing rain, ice pellets and snow to the area. Because of the ‘perfect storm’ of these events, my brother and I were not able to make the trip out to Belleville to celebrate my Mother’s birthday today.

And because of the realities of this season, I won’t get to celebrate Mom’s birthday with her until the end of the month.

Sometimes life is just like that: we make good plans, but other factors get in the way and mess it all up.

On the one hand, I don’t mind admitting to you that I’m frustrated and bummed out to have the beginning of the season messed up like this. On the other hand – I am reminded that our world has not been a perfect one for a very, very long time now. And yet – God hasn’t given up on us. It was into our messy, imperfect, dark world that Jesus was first promised, and then born. The messiah comes into our mess. He meets us here, as imperfect and messy and dark as we are, and he becomes the light that shows us the way.

This is the hope we have in Jesus.

This Advent, may you arise and shine, for your light has come. May you know that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness CANNOT put it out. May you be filled with light, even when the days are dark. May you know that Jesus is the source of that light and His kingdom is everlasting. Amen.