Paradox and the Advent

The darkest day of the year is coming, but so is the return of light and the lengthening of days.

I love paradoxes, and perhaps at no time of the year are they more present in my thoughts. These rituals of Christmas and the Christmas season – putting lights out to illuminate our dreary neighborhoods, taking a tree inside to render domestic and cheery the natural world, even while it is at its most harsh and barren, celebrating community and family through gatherings at a time when otherwise we might have been solitarily shut indoors – they’re paradoxes, right? They’re truths with nuance, with exceptions, with grey.

And of course, so is the story of the advent itself: that the King of All would come in the form of a small babe, that He would be born to commoners rather than royalty, that a meager stable would become forever a symbol of humility and hospitality too.

But this is perhaps what I love most: that fiction itself so often seems paradoxically fact. That things can be true because they feel true, because they ring true, because we hope them to be true. Or because we have faith. Some of the stories that resonate with me deepest are written, are fables and folk tales. Does that make them untrue?

Certainly not.

I want to raise Edmond with this understanding of the world. That Truth and truth are not the same, and often one has to weigh the two side by side. I hope he finds, like his father and I, that there is Truth in Christmas, the Christ child, St. Nicholas too. I hope he’ll embrace the paradox of the advent.

Judging by this picture though, who knows?



One thought on “Paradox and the Advent

  1. Hi J & R,
    I was just surfing around WordPress and noticed your ‘countdown’. I am a marriage celebrant in Australia and I wish you all the best for the future. Young love… nothing better. Nice to see a post valuing your birth mothers.
    Cheers and God bless.


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