It’s Dark

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.                                                                                               John 8:12

It’s dark here in the Eastern Time Zone of the United States at this time of year, and it is only 5:30 PM as I write this blog entry. Yes, this time of year it gets dark pretty early here. In the farther eastern part of the time zone, it gets dark even earlier.  Suffice it to say, this feels like the dead of Winter. The darkest day, December 21 is, of course the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere.

I suppose that such facts really color my thinking about the Christmas season here in the U.S. We tend to relate the dark days of mid-winter with Christmas. Hence the reason we love the outdoor illumination of the season. It just brings light into the dark.

The metaphor of Jesus being the light of the world comes to life in such a setting. When it is so dark, even a little light brings refreshment and hope. So, we celebrate Christmas at a time when we need a little more light, a little more encouragement.

This reminds me that Christians are, of course, all over the world, and my brothers and sisters in the Southern Hemisphere are basking in a season where light abounds this time of year. That also reminds me that my United States view of Christmas is hopelessly parochial, and not at all relevant to a different cultural perspective.   

So, while I enjoy my cultural understanding of the Christmas season, I also understand that the true reason for the season has nothing to do with seasonal light changes, or snow, or Currier and Ives prints. It has to do with a celebration of true Light in a dark world.  

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the gift of True Light, Amen

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