We only have to see the news or the papers to see the darkness of violence and hatred in so many war-torn countries across the world. There is the moral and ethical darkness of the rich getting richer and the poor getting into more debt and struggling make ends meet. There is the darkness of domestic violence and abuse to vulnerable children, and the darkness of hostility to refugees and immigrants who are different to ourselves.
Advent is about bringing the Light of Jesus Christ into these dark places too - as a candle banishes the darkness around it, so the Light of Jesus banishes the darkness and evil around the world.
As ever, this depends upon us as disciples of Jesus, the Light of the World. Are we prepared to pray for peace and be peace-makers wherever we can? Are we filled with righteous anger at the inequalities of the world and moved to make a stand? Are we watchful for the vulnerable in our society, ready to stand up for them and their rights? Can we show generosity and hospitality to those who are different to ourselves?
Are we prepared to become a light in the darkness - illuminated by the the Love of God? That is the challenge of Advent as we await the coming of the newborn King.