“The True Light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” John 1:9
There is so much darkness in our world. If we didn’t know better, we could easily be convinced that the devil is winning the day. Darkness in our world where the hell of war never ceases. Darkness in our nation where unemployment, financial insecurity, and divisiveness rule over us. Darkness in our community where our children are bullied to the point of despair, our neighbors fight losing battles against sickness, and people are killed over a matter of a few bucks. Darkness in our families where children fight their parents, spouses call it quits, and homes are broken. Darkness in our lives where we doubt our worth and value, find little hope, and merely survive from one day to the next. We live in a world characterized by dark days.
Into this world of darkness, into your world no matter how dark, comes the Christ of Christmas. A flicker of a flame at first, but oh so warm. The gentle touch of the Man sent from God, who is fact in God Himself. The flicker of a flame that breaks through your darkness, though only briefly at first. Warm light shining on a life that has become so cold. Comforting light shining in areas of your life you haven’t allowed yourself to look at for a long time. Hopeful light shining through the pain and questions and doubts and depression of opportunities missed, loved ones lost, belongings done away with.
A beautiful Light that causes you to wonder and question – could it be true? Could there be more to life than this darkness I’ve so long known. Could there be more to me than a man or woman pretending as best I can, but only two mistakes away for being found out who I really am? This light, so gentle, so warm, so comforting. It seems to have no discrimination for people. It feels like it accepts me where I am no matter who I am. I’m hesitant to say it, but it feels like love!
The Light of the World has come to shine on you tonight. Gently, allowing your eyes to adjust to His brightness, the Son of Almighty God, born into our flesh through His mother Mary, the virgin, is coming to you tonight. Doing away with all your darkness. Fighting your darkness. Casting out your darkness. Leaving behind not pain, but healing. Not longing, but acceptance. Not heartbreak, but hope. Undoing everything this dark world has done to you, the Light of the World falls upon you this night!
“O little town of Bethlehem, How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth The everlasting light.
The hopes and fears of all the years Are met in thee tonight.”
O Little Town of Bethlehem, Lutheran Service Book, 361