Each year we begin our Christmas celebration in the midst of darkness. The church gives us this time in which to remember, celebrate and commemorate the birth of Christ. Jesus the light of the world. This deep darkness is symbolic to the darkness, sin and evil that has seemingly engulfed humanity both then and now. We seem to become overwhelmed by the lies, fear, hatred, division, destruction and delusions of our society, nation and world. So the meaning of our gathering takes on a new and deeper significance , a deeper understanding of the ability to overcome the darkness of our current time. It is the very power of God that breaks through the darkness and brings us light, that is the light for the human race. So let us walk in the light…
The thread throughout our scriptures is “Light”. We recognize the truth of the light that is Christ who illumines our darkness. We see that when the light of truth shines in the darkness, the darkness cannot overcome it. The ancient world of the first century c.e. was in great turmoil. Struggling under Roman rule and being an oppressed people, there was a longing for something or someone to bring hope and freedom, joy and peace.
“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
a light has shone.”
The message of light, joy and peace resound in our Christmas celebration as we here the words of the Prophet Isaiah. Let the light and hope of Isaiah be for us a cause for joy. The promise of the birth of a Savior fulfilled yet renewed in our ability to allow Christ to be born a new in hearts this Christmas. The world needs to know that God has not forgotten us, nor are we left to fend for ourselves. The great light that is Christ has the ability to illuminate each human heart. We are not left in the darkness like wounded animals without hope, rather we walk with Christ as our light and hope guiding us into a future filled with hope.
From the Gospel of Luke God’s messengers appear to the poor, those living on the peripheries a message of light, joy and hope. It is first to them that these glad tidings are proclaimed.
“The angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
We too are called not to be afraid. It is fear of the unknown, fear of the “other”, fear of the different, the stranger. We must not be imprisoned by fear and darkness, we must be a people that boldly testifies to the light so that all might believe. In the poverty of the stable, a dwelling of animals the Son of God lays His head. In this peripheral place on the margins of the city God’s message to all of humanity is first proclaimed. This is hope for our world today. We can find in the light of truth hope for tomorrow.
The Evangelist John proclaims to the glory and greatness of the incarnation. God unites His divinity with our humanity, and our humanity with His Divinity. Heaven and Earth are brought together in such a way that we are assured of God’s presence ever dwelling with us.
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth.