I have come across a few heartbreaking images on this advent like this one titled the FIFTH ADVENT. Even this designation is bust-cutting, the sight is almost breathtaking. Fifth Advent? The further I look at this strange Advent greeting, the more I feel the frozen black wax streaks slowly and irresistibly seep into my heart. My soul’s dirty-white, sometimes white-stained “canvas” just drips down and in with the black wax. There are four candles on the left side of the picture. Four Sundays of Advent. Neither are they kitschy gold or silvery like the candles in mass postcards. No, they're all different. Like four different messages from the four Sundays of Advent. And they are like life: smoky, strange, cleaner, reddish-blooded. And their flame is also peculiar: instead of an illuminating-sparkling light source, they flicker in black. Totally, these candles will be burning for us on the Advent of 2020, weeping. They don't beautify, they don't lie. Pain-lights, loss-candles, soul-flares. So strange has never been before, and perhaps in this way the advent is not rupturing in us in this dramatic December of the early 21st century.
Strange candles - light-absorbers. In themselves, they can only burn black, sooty. What handset them on fire, and for what? I'm just looking at this strange set of candles. Candle choir. Because for me, they’re not as lit up as they’re singing. It's like singing a mourner. The painful elegy of transience, passing away, irreversibility. These separate thread candles are like human destinies. There is little or no glow on the inside. Without celestial light, without redemptive external light, so much will pass from them. It is as if our sins, omissions, transgressions, unforgivable apologies, life-scratching hardnesses are in front of us, in them. And on the one hand, the tears of pain caused by others, on the other the dark streaks of pain tears caused to others, freeze on our souls.
And they would cry as if we would cry: More light! Absolution! Great love warmth! That the stripes of sin-wax frozen on us would melt away. Next to all four still-smoking candles, there is a fifth behind it: warning, painful, confessive, in a way that turns to the heavenly-earthly light of Christ. Pointing beyond himself, pointing to the Beyond God, the Lord of All. Also with wordlessness. In hope, that He should redeem our gaze, our lives, from the captivity of the frozen strips of sin, the dense trenches of sin. That the people who sat in darkness for a long time may see true light (Isaiah 9: 2). That the light of Christ may penetrate into the inner depths as well. And let there be a true, living gospel in this soon-to-be Advent-Christmas: lux lucet in tenebris - the light shines in the darkness, and although He was not been received everywhere and always (John 1: 5), those who have received Him, have power given to be children of God (John 1:12). And even today, this December, may the pure, smoke-free, and squeak-free, unquenchable light of Christ shine in our souls. Let the hymn of Christmas, which gives glory to God and his Holy Son alone, sounds soft and then more and more powerfully in every soul (Luke 2:14), who only starts by faith and makes a pilgrimage in faith to Bethlehem and towards the throne of the King of heaven. And during our Advent pilgrimage, through the smoky candles of sin and mourning shines the pure light of the Morning Star, and this falls healingly on our hearts worn by tenebris, deep dark shadows. This is the happy moment of finding Christ, finally or again and again. Nevertheless, this is possible on this advent as well, because He is coming and He will not be arrested by a pandemic, nor by Covid-19.
The light of the Dawn Star has also shone on those who have acquired, sung, and been able to hear the ethereal music and melody of Advent Moon composed by Cecilia McDowall for Angier Brock’s poem since Christmas 2019 in England and around the Anglo-Saxon world. The beautiful sounds touch the uplifting arms of the Savior of the world gently to our souls, with our inner ears we can almost hear as we are flying by the Child of the Manger and the King of Kings towards the heavenly spheres. The Children’s Choir of the Royal College of London sings Advent songs inspired and inviting. Cecilia McDowall, who lives in London, originally composed a few songs years earlier to beautify the Christmas celebration of the Protestant Episcopal parish in Williamsburg, USA, with the children’s choir.
Then the composer-lyricist Cecilia tried to put her inspiration into words: "The creator of the constellations descended from heaven to dwell with us in his precious Holy Son - He became the Light in our darkness, spiritual nourishment for our hungry hearts, warmth in the cold world". Let’s listen to the choir over and over again, experience it in this advent: the smoky, twinkling candle flame of our lives, even if we sometimes experience our days with the black waxy tear of the fifth advent, can turn into a true Advent, into a cleansing glow. For He has come again to us - to you, and even with death, sin, human power, earthly superpower, artificial intelligence the inner radiance, glow, with which He bestows us, cannot be extinguished. It is the radiance of faith - sola fide - solus Christus - by faith, with Christ alone.
Look at the picture and listen to the music over and over again - your life will be thereby in this Advent more blessed, deeper, more meaningful as you will receive in your heart the picture and music! Whether the advent moonlight will be given us or not. One thing is for sure: the Morning Star is approaching. It shines slowly in front of your window and your heart ... again. You will not remain in the darkness! Lux lucet in tenebris!
Click here to find Advent Moon. choral work, playing time: 5:00 minutes