For so many of us this has been the most unusual Christmas we’ve experienced. We navigated busy websites rather than packed malls. We celebrated through screens rather than across tables. We sang our favorite Christmas songs while sitting in front the computer rather than shoulder to shoulder in church. Each of these reminds us that this has been an unexpected year filled with many challenges.
I’ve been thinking about the words we read every Christmas to describe the meaning of the birth of Jesus. It says, “What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:3-5). When we celebrate the birth of Jesus it reminds us the light is always shining, even in the darkest of times, so always look for the light. While the pandemic has brought difficult and dark times, our faith tells us that if we look for it, we can see the light of God shining into our lives. And sometimes it is through the simplest of things.
I’ve seen light when Gracie (the best dog ever!) greets me joyously as I walk through the door, when neighbors check on us, when I laugh on Zoom with friends, when a stranger asks how I’m doing, when I receive encouraging notes from friends at Marble, when I see frontline workers selflessly serving us, when I finish the day sitting by Tena, and especially when I look into the adoring face of my new granddaughter! How about you? Where have you seen light amidst the darkness of this pandemic?
To celebrate the birth of Jesus is to celebrate the one whose life was the light of all people, a light not even darkness can overcome. Therefore, as we end a difficult year and move into 2021, let us remember to always look for the light.
Merry Christmas and may God’s light and love guide you in the new year.
Reverend Dr. Michael Bos, Senior Minister of Marble Collegiate Church