Of all the gifts of Christmas, light is one of the greatest. We all know the relief of walking out of a dark room into the light, or out of a dark night into the warmth of light in our home. Some know the experience of walking out of a dark and hopeless season of life into the light.
And maybe you are yet to find your way to that gift. American astronomer and astrologist Carl Sagan spoke of our predicament in this way: “Our planet is a lonely speck in the great, enveloping cosmic dark.” It reminds us of the words of Isaiah who wrote of “people who walked in darkness….” This darkness of which the prophet spoke is not simply the absence of a candle. It was a depth of spiritual gloom that enveloped the world.
For some who read these words, an “enveloping darkness” just about describes life for you. Many feel a gloom and pessimism about the world that steals our hope and robs our joy. Again to quote Sagan, “In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.”
How do we “save ourselves from ourselves?” Isaiah continues, “The people who walked in darkness have seen A GREAT LIGHT!” A light has come! Dawn has cracked the darkness open. “For unto us a child is born…..!” And now light has come to scatter our darkness….hope has come to dissolve our despair. Joy to the world, THE LORD HAS COME.
And so, though we often try to light up Christmas, it is really Christmas that lights US! We have the light within us. The light of the knowledge of Who was in that manger…that light is a gift that needs to be shared. You didn’t receive it to keep it, but to give it away.
A world that thinks no help will come from elsewhere to save us needs the light you have. The light has come at Christmas.
Go light your world.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2)
FOR REFLECTION: Find a candle, light it and pray for a person you know who is walking in darkness. As you blow it out, remember what it was like to “walk in darkness.”