Light in a Dark Place
The materialism of Christmas shopping used to be tempered by carols of angels and the newborn Christ. But now that anything “religious” has been pervasively banned from stores, we’re reduced to hollow gibberish about Santa and happy holidays. What to say?
An alternative to feeling angry or cynical or sad is to remember that the original holiday, the Roman Saturnalia, was a happy pagan holiday to begin with. And before that, Jesus wasn’t particularly welcomed in Israel either—Herod tried to kill him (with horrific collateral damage to baby boys around Bethlehem).
If Jesus were so inclined, he might say to us something like, “Join the club,” though that’s cliched, and Jesus spoke with originality. He was, after all, God.
And come he did, as light in a dark world. John 1:4–5 (NIV) says, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Then, “the Word [Jesus] became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (14–15).
If you’re a follower of Jesus, Ephesians 5:8 says, “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” So just like him, we are called to shine like light in any kind of a dark place. We in the flesh represent his Spirit. And may it be that others see his glory, his grace and truth, shining through us.
The world needs light now as much as ever.
Be a light.
Blessings from my home to yours this Christmas season.