O Oriens/O Dayspring
splendor lucis aeternae,
et sol justitiae:
veni, et illumina
sedentes in tenebris,
et umbra mortis.
splendor of light everlasting:
Come and enlighten
those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death.
Today is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.The winter soltace occurs at December 22, 12:30 A.M. EST and the day will begin to lengthen once again. Though it is the darkest day, the Advent candles burn brightly. The church calls from the darkness to her Lord, her Dayspring from on high, who is “the joyous light of glory.” This year last night was the first day of Chanukah, the festival of lights. So much Divine Light!
God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness. God spoke Light into the darkness. Light is life. Without light there is no life. Darkness is silent death, and distance from God. Darkness cannot produce light; it is formless, a void, empty. Light must be spoken into darkness from the outside.
God sent His Son, the light of the world thrown into darkness. He is the light no darkness can overcome, the light of God’s love, His promise of mercy. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.” Jesus is the Morning Star, the Dayspring, the signal of the coming morning. Day is at hand. The Dayspring has risen. The son of righteousness rises with healing in His wings. He was born in darkness that we might be reborn as children of the light. He died in darkness that we might live in the light of His life. He rose at dawn to usher in the new day of His resurrection. He shines into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who works through the Word, dispelling the darkness, killing the death, bringing light and life.
Advent calls us out of the darkness to live in the warm brightness of light of Christ, to be the children of the Light that we are. The night is over. The Day has dawned. He has cast the bright beams of His light upon us.
-- adapted from the meditation by Pastor William Cwirla