Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.
-from the Collect for the first Sunday of Advent
Here we are at the beginning of a new church year! Advent 1 is this Sunday, and we are invited into a fresh start in our lives and in our faith.
I like how the liturgy on this first Sunday of the new church year starts out asking God for grace. The opening collect asks God to give us the grace we need to reject things that harm us or harm others, and to put on the ‘armor of light.’ Pondering what the armor of light might be makes a powerful prayer session - I commend it to you. What is armor? What kind of armor do we wear? What do we think we need armor for? In what ways does armor strengthen us? What makes the armor of light different than other armor? What kind of protection is God’s light?
People walk around every day wearing all kinds of protective layers - literal and figurative. In so many ways, we put our own lights under bushels and build walls around our hearts. The kind of armor we need as faithful people is not a harder covering made of leather or heavy chain mail, but something so light it is made only of particles or waves or spirit. This makes me feel lighter just thinking about it.
I hope you will spend some extra time with Scripture or in prayer this Advent, feeling the light of God surrounding you in the coming winter months.