The first chapter of John’s Gospel tells us “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
It often seems as if we live in a dark world, doesn’t it? Evil lurks all around us and too often bad things happen to good people. Falsehoods are accepted above truth and reality distorted to unreality. We value the cheap and empty things of the world and disvalue the truly worthy things.
It’s easy to be discouraged and disappointed to the point of becoming cynical.
But that is not the Christmas story, is it? God so loved the world that he became one of us. He literally lowered himself to become a part of His own creation and for the sole purpose of saving us. The babe in the manger became the tortured man dying on the cross – for us.
He experienced hate and rejection, betrayal and estrangement, pain and death. All for us.
What kind of a God does that? A God who only wants one thing: love. That’s why John talks about light in a dark world, a light which cannot be overcome. The Song of Solomon says that love is strong as death. In Jesus, love was actually stronger than death.
So, in the midst of this dark world, as we deal with the difficulties of life, we need to go back to Bethlehem and hear the songs of angels, see the gifts of kings, feel the love of a young mother, and adore the divine baby. We need to go and find the light out there in the darkness. It’s there shining brightly and waiting for us to just believe.
This has been a hard year and we ended it in Washington on the sad and avoidable note of the impeachment of a sitting president. I’ve repeatedly made my position on that issue clear, but the fact of the vote and the way in which it was handled was a big disappointment. The nation is worse off and for nothing at all.
Yet, I believe in our country, in our Constitution and in the ultimate goodness of our people. We have come through so much over our history and triumphed every time. We will do so again.
That’s not me being trite. I really do believe it, because we are what Jesus meant when He talked about the city set on the hill, the lamp that belongs on a stand. And we will continue so long as we reflect the Light of the world in the darkness around us.
This Christmas, I hope you will make the most out of quality time with family. Dust off an old photo album or board game. Tell the Christmas story to young children. Ride around the neighborhood and look at Christmas decorations. Never miss an opportunity to share God’s love, to reflect the Light of the world in the darkness around us.
There is so much to be grateful for, and I hope you will think about all the ways you have been blessed.
May God bless and keep you and your family this Christmas season and may God continue to bless the United States of America.