Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Darkness Has Not Overcome the Light

Each year at the Christmas Eve services, I am alert for which parts of the story and the service speak most to me.  After all, the basics of the story and the service don't really change much from year to year.

Some years I'm humbled by the idea that God would come to earth to be held in human hands.  God as baby born to some of the most vulnerable youngsters in the empire--what a radical concept.

Some years the weariness speaks to me.  Other years it's the shepherds who have their regular lives disrupted by angel choirs--how do you go back to the flocks after that?

Last night, the verse from John about the light not being overcome by the darkness moved me to tears--and I heard it numerous times, since I went to all three Christmas Eve services.

At the last service, I stood at the front, reading the last part of the liturgy, looking out at the candlelit faces.  I thought about the time I stood at the front looking at ash-smudged foreheads and how different it was to stand at the front at the end of a Christmas Eve service.  The lights were low, but I could distinguish faces.  The candles cast such a warm light.

I thought about the light that illuminates much of our lives now:  the fluorescent lights from our energy efficient bulbs, the blue hues reflecting from our various screens.  But to see the faces lit by candles--what a treat!

This year has felt particularly dark, although this article explains why so many of us are actually much safer in 2014 than we have been throughout much of human history.  In this year of many cancers, none of them mine, and other diseases that seem so resistant to cures that plague my friends, I needed that reminder that even in the darkest times, the light stubbornly breaks through.

1 comment:

John Flanagan said...

Do not ever think that the light of God stubbornly shows through. It is a strong light but you must have eyes to see it. Never allow despair to control you, nor the wickedness of the world and circumstances to take away your love of God and His love for you. For a Christian, to give into despair is to turn your back on God. Guard your heart, retain your faith in God's promises, and have a blessed New Year in 2015. Resolve to be upbeat, positive, helpful and encouraging to others, willing to share the hope of Jesus. You are blessed. You are His child. Never forget it.