“The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned . . . In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.. . The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. . . And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been carried out in God.” (Matt.4:16; John 1:4,5, 9; 3:19-21).
I hope, upon reading the above verses, you are led to yearn for the Light (Jesus!) that we need in this dark world. The holiday season is upon us, and, we are told by the powers that be (a.k.a. advertisers and merchants!), we are to be happy, joyful. And yes, indeed, Jesus does give us reason to rejoice. But I would contend, we don’t/won’t revel greatly in the Light that is Jesus, until we feel the darkness deeply. The irony of this time of year, and perhaps a “secret” not many people of faith are often willing to admit, is this: MANY do NOT feel happy. The reasons, perhaps, are many. We have lost loved ones that we think about this time of year. And, as the years pile up, so do the losses. The merchants and advertisers can tell us to spend our way out of sadness and into happiness, but it doesn’t work. All that to say this: Don’t deny the darkness, whether it’s in your heart, or, the darkness in this fallen world. Feel it, own it, mourn it. By doing so, a hunger and happiness for the Light Who is Jesus will emerge. And then, even if “Fa-La-La” Tis the Season to be Jolly” does not emerge, may you be granted the grace to believe the words Jesus claimed for His own ministry, and, those of the Father: “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom fro the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners . . . For this is what the high and exalted One says – he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holyk place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” (Ia.61:1; 57:15). JOY TO THE WORLD! THE LORD HAS COME!