Today, the church will light two candles on the Advent wreath. Not much light to shine in this deepening darkness of December. But it is enough. The two candles give us enough light to explore the darkness -- to see into the far reaches of our soul.
My instinct -- and our culture's training, is to turn on all the lights. Kill the darkness. But the Advent light helps us -- not to destroy the darkness, but to see in the darkness. To help us learn and discover where else God lives in us.
Ever since I was a child, we had an Advent wreath at home. And we dutifully lit the appropriate carol. And then we sang lots of carols. As an adult, we still light the candle -- but sing just the first verse of "O Come, O come Emmanuel". It has become part of the rhythm (the regula, the rule of my life).
An important part -- for it helps me to honor the darkness.