By Kathy Tullos
Christmas is serious business at our house. Follow us home from the tree lot the day after Thanksgiving and you’ll see our usual nine-foot tree hanging out the back of our Prius. Frosty and Santa, here we come!
At the same time, we all know that Christmas is serious in a different way. Many folks, including our neighbors downtown, are hungry and lonely. Our country has endured a bruising election cycle. Many areas of the world know only war and devastation. Sometimes Christmas seems very serious – very dark – indeed.
And yet in the midst of this darkness, we experience light. On Christmas Eve, our family attends the 11:00 service. We’ve had a big meal by then, and it’s typically been a long day. Honestly, there are years when the sermon sails right over my weary head. (Sorry!) But I always know that the best part, the light part, is coming at the end.
If you’ve been to this service, you know what I’m talking about: the lights in the sanctuary dim, the congregation begins to sing “Silent Night,” and we raise the candles we were given when we walked in. One small flame passes and multiplies from taper to taper in the pews. Light blooms.
As we sing about silent nights and being calm and bright and radiant beams bringing in dawns of grace, the words of John 1:5 are, at least in that moment, true. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.