Welcome to the shortest, darkest day of the year―the Winter Solstice.
Some scholars, and believers, grumble that Christmas should be in March or April, that early Christians in Europe around the 4th century converted the pagan light rituals into the Christian Christmas celebrations. For me, this isn’t a problem. Follow me on this… Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
What better time for the Son of God to symbolically come into the world than around the darkest time of the year? Jesus often comes when it is the darkest in people’s lives. Perhaps that is when they finally notice his light shining into their situation.
The rest of Isaiah’s prophecy (verses 2-3) states it clearly: For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Perhaps it is no wonder God chose a star to signal his arrival on earth. Maybe it is no mistake you found him during a dark time in your life. You were drawn to his light―just like the shepherds and the magi, and countless others over the centuries.
As you string lights around the tree or door or fill the rooms with candles this season, remember, Jesus is the Light that came into the world. Kings followed the light of a star and found him. Wise men (and women) still seek him today.
Lord, you are the Light of the World. Shine brightly in my life and that of those who are still crouched in the dark. This season, let me reflect your love to those around me and help draw them to you the way your star drew others to your birth. Amen.
Throughout this day: Light a candle or shine the flashlight app on your phone. Then pray for someone you know who needs to draw closer to Christ this season.
Photo Credit: Natalie Y on Unsplash