What if we put on an armour of light as well as our Christmas jumper this Advent?
In our longing for light how do we guard ourselves against the darkness that pervades the news? The political chaos, the climate change mayhem, the brutal conflict and violence across the world…
For some of us it may mean practicing daily gratitude, reminding ourselves of the good and grace at work in the world.
For those living at the sharp end of conflict and violence, what armour will be strong enough to help them resist the darkness of trauma and despair?
Psychologist Diana, works with a Christian Aid partner in Lebanon, Association Najdeh, to help child refugees recover from the impact of violence and conflict they experienced in Syria. Helping them to develop the resilience they need to process and be healed from the deep wounds of conflict inflicted at such a young age.
“A lot of children with trauma come here to the centre. We can always try our best to provide them a place where they can find peace.” The centre provides counselling, psychotherapy, social workers, literacy classes, arts therapy (drama, dance, painting and music), life skills, and recreational sessions such as crafts, games and storytelling.
Clothe us, Advent God,
with your light armour
shielding us with an illuminating layer
not to avoid the dread and gloom
but to be impermeable to its bombardment
retaining our flicker of hope
setting alight the dross of worry and fear
awakened to your will at work in the world
protected participants in restoring Shalom
and partnering with those working for peace.
11 Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; 12 the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; 13 let us live honourably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. 14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.