Choose the Light
In this dark season our hearts turn to the ever rising sun where, day upon day, it rises from the embrace of the night. So it is with our souls-mornings do come, whether misted, fogged or bright. In this season of long nights, the star from the East once rose, lit the night sky, sent Magi on their long journey, seeking and finding the promised One who came to illuminate the darkness with his presence, the promise of deliverance. He has come and his light shattered the power of darkness forever. In this place where it all began, we carry this ever bright reality in the midst of a fallen world and an increasingly perverse generation.
Today, as God’s children in the land we sometimes call holy, darkness abounds. Regardless of where we dwell in this land, we are daily assaulted by violence, suffering, corruption, poverty, fear, abuse, and moral degradation. The list is endless. We, though, choose to remember and even celebrate the coming of the Holy One who announced and inaugurated another way – a way of light in contrast to the highways of darkness. As bearers of this light we can choose not to succumb to the fierce pull of the darkness pressing us to abandon hope, but rather choose to illuminate the surrounding darkness by acts of love, by prayers for all the peoples in this land, and by opening our hearts to one another in solidarity with our shared humanity in recognition of God’s image in us all.
The easy way is to accede to despair and surrender to the looming darkness that seeks to blind us. Our small gestures can feel trivial and insignificant. But they are not. The small and flickering light of one candle creates a circle of light far greater than its size. Our small acts of love and our prayers also create circles of light where their influence is greater than their size.
The words of the Psalmist, “I will not fear any evil because you are with me,” need to become the song in our hearts replacing the dark melodies that surround all us. This is a season of families gathering, visiting, and sharing hospitality. May it begin in our hearts, extend to our neighbors and with the turn of the year grow to reach all corners of this land. We may feel we are few and insignificant but we are not alone. We have friends among all those who seek peace from whatever context they come. The star from the East still shines. Deliverance has come. We bear this word in our hearts and our lives. We have received the promise and the power to bring light to every dark place.