Ask anyone who’s waited for a sunrise…
We piled into cars – four families: grandparents, grown children, grandchildren – and drove sleepily through the gloaming towards what seemed the end of the world but was really just the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.
Somewhere across vast oceans, science told us, the sun would come. We huddled in a ridge of sand looking for the promised light.
Suddenly, an obelisk of fire separated water from sky, dark from light. And the sun–disk slipped through a buttonhole of clouds to light up the expanse of beach!
Ask anyone who’s given birth…
I labored through the night with my firstborn. From ten p.m. until the dawning–I bore down under a burden I felt I couldn’t possibly endure…I thought I was dying. In fact, I said to my husband, “It’s okay, I can just die now. Take care of the baby.” (A little dramatic, perhaps. Mine was a textbook birth with zero complications). I watched the clock, and the window outside my hospital room. Just looking for the light. Trusting the nurse who said I was “almost done”
But ask anyone who’s given birth, about those hours laboring long in a dark pain. Until… like light breaking through dark, suddenly a baby cries, shattering the pain with the brightness only Life can bring.
Ask anyone who’s sat out a storm…
We turned out all the lights in our basement Sunday School class last week to demonstrate the hope a little light can give. And even I, who held the flashlight, felt that “zero at the bone” as we sat in utter darkness for just a few seconds.
In storms, homes and towns plunge into darkness, power cut. Whole families huddle close, groping blind for some source of light, of hope. The sudden relief that floods when a candle flickers, a flashlight blazes, or the whole house lights up to power restored.
And there are people sitting in darkness the world over, this year, this month, tonight…looking for light. Just a pinprick. A star point.
Because, you see… Light is always needed in the dark.
Light is always needed in the dark!
It’s December. The colorful leaves have given way to colorful displays in front yards. I notice a lack: peaceful manger scenes replaced by penguins and the Peanuts gang. Yet one standard remains: lights.
I find myself looking for lights in our neighborhood with our little boys. And we find them! Lights looping around evergreens, rooftops, and doorways. Telegraph lines of lights sending dotted messages down streets.
Winter’s season is darker than the others–by nature. And the nature of the human spirit means, people are looking for the light at Christmas.
Light is always needed in the dark.
“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.” Isaiah 9:2
Just as Israel walked in darkness of political and spiritual decay, people walk in darkness of the soul today.
Passage after passage in Scripture reveals the need for the Light of the Gospel to shine from our hearts to the world. Jesus said “I am the light of the world,” and then tell us: “ye are the light of the world.” (John 8:12; Matthew 5:14).
Let your light so shine…
The Light came for us through the darkness. Light is needed now more than ever. “Let your light so shine before men…” (Matthew 5:16).
This year as you walk through bedazzled streets and shops, each time you see a string of Christmas lights, dwell on the image of God, commanding the light to shine out of darkness into the hearts of men (2 Corinthians 4:6). Then go: and spread a little more of That Light. Light up the whole world!
Lord, may your Light shine forth from our souls, that those who sit in darkness may be drawn to You. Amen.
Looking for the Light at Christmas
If you’re in need of a little faith, a little hope, a little Christmas Light, I hope this Christmas haiku shines into your holiday celebrations, and and blesses you:
Dark, adrift, planets
Spin, until a star pointed
the way home: a Son.
With his voice, the light
Appeared. With His birth, silent
Tongues loose, singing loud.
A baby is a small
Dwelling place for the Creator
Of worlds without end.
See his star appear
Light to guide souls seeking home:
Come and worship Him.