As I write this, it is about an hour and fifteen minutes from the official arrival of winter. It is the shortest day of the year, which means of course that it is the day with the least amount of daylight. It is also the point of time in the yearly orbit of the earth around the sun when the earth tilts farthest away from its life-sustaining star. In short, this is a very negative day!
And indeed, there is a lot to be negative about. The economy still flounders; unemployment remains at record highs; military actions and the testing of nuclear capabilities keep us on edge. But then again, it is the darkest of days that the strength of our hope is revealed.
Now I understand the historical reality of the time of Christ birth. I know that the actual event took place sometime between March and April of our modern calendars, and not on December 25th. But it was not mere irony that led the Church to adapt the Celtic Festival of Lights into a celebration of Jesus’ entrance into history. It was a definitive statement about why we can choose to hang on and persevere through the darkest times of our lives.
To the modern day shepherds, the lowliest of minimum wage workers, The Great Shepherd of Psalm 23 has come to led them into green pastures.
To the outcast and homeless, the one who was rejected and forced to be born in a cave-stable and placed in a feeding trough for a cradle has come to say “I know where you are, and I can help.”
To the philosopher, the Logos, the Word of God, has come to resolve the quandaries of the why’s and how’s of all that we cannot comprehend.
To the King’s of the earth, he has come to remind that we are all held accountable to the greatest of Kings.
To the war weary, The Prince of Peace has come to quell the conflicts of both nations and heart.
To the discouraged, the disheartened, The Wonderful Counselor has come to dispel your anxieties and calm your fears.
But most of all, on this darkest day of the year, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” ISA 9:2
I understand that the world is filled with differing opinions on this matter. And I respect and defend the right to have those perspectives. But in the spirit of Michelle S. Lowrie’s recent blog, I thought I would share the joy and hope that I have discovered so that you might, on this darkest day, find hope.