As the sounds and sights of the season propel us toward Christmas, in the days ahead many of us will struggle with darkness. When we grieve during the holidays, it takes an almost superhuman effort to resist the darkness of grief.
At Christmas, we seek the light that leads us out of darkness into the light of new life. In Luke 1 verse 78 we read, “By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
My late husband Leighton and I were deep in conversation one day with a three-year-old child who was curious about everything, especially light. We talked about sunlight, moonlight, candlelight, electric light, and several other ways we experience light in everyday life and in the world. He thought for a moment, and with the wisdom of a small child, he summarized our shared thoughts with this simple, yet profound statement, “Light lets you see things.”
The miracle of Christmas is that the darkness of the world is overcome by light, the light of God’s love that shines in our heart through Christ, the light that holds the promise of life beyond the darkness of death. In Psalm 36 verse 9 we read, “In your light we see light.”
As you experience the season, dare to imagine that each Christmas light is a brilliant celebration of God’s love and abiding presence to you, personally and individually. In Isaiah 9 verse 2 we read, “The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.”
During the days of Advent:
- Seek the light in the balance between sadness and hope for the future.
- Seek the light of peace in remembrance, renewal, forgiveness, and release.
- Seek the light in the enjoyment of one or two aspects of the Christmas season.
- Seek the light by understanding the gift of Christmas—God’s love for humankind.
As light breaks through the darkness of grief, Christmas is an opportunity to find not only the light of Christ, but also to rediscover our own light within. Seek the light, and in the light, experience the light of God's love and comfort for you.
For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light—for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.