“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”John 1:5
As I write this post, it is Christmas Eve. This afternoon we will gather at church for our Christingle Service. The church will flooded with candlelight as we remember that Jesus was born to be the light of the world. It will be a cozy reminder of the light of Christmas as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth.
When I post this, however, it will be Boxing Day. Christmas celebrations will already be one day past. Presents will be opened, turkey eaten and various treats enjoyed. But what then? For many the next celebration is New Year’s Eve just a week or so away. But then the routine and normal-ness of everyday life crowds back in once more.
Christmas is this bright shining celebration in the midst of the darkness of winter. But it can be easy to forget once the darkness of winter closes in again in January. In fact, with climate change these days, January and February can feel even colder than December. Snow, sleet and ice invades to make the darkness more difficult to manage.
That’s why it vital to remember that Jesus came as the light in the darkness. That is true not just in our Christmas celebrations, but in the dark of winter when Christmas seems to have been left behind. In the bleakness of January Jesus is still the light of the world. That is because he didn’t stay that idyllic baby in a manger. He became a man who went to die for us. He went to that cross to banish the darkness of death once and for all. We remember with candles Jesus the light at Christmas. But the light burned most bright and fierce on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas, and that you enjoy a good start to the New Year. I hope that the coming year brings you many blessings. But if the winter closes in a little too much over the coming days; if the frost bites a bit too deeply; if the darkness seems to surround you this winter, I hope you know Christ as the light in the darkness and feel his light shine bright and long in your heart.