Tonight was the eeriest Christmas Eve ever, as a foggy mist blanketed our region. It wasn’t snow or rain, so no one was complaining. Nevertheless, it put an exclamation mark on the pause that comes once the malls and grocery stores finally shut their doors on Christmas Eve. On top of the quiet was a deep, enveloping darkness. The street lights and headlights of passing cars were dimmed by the weighty fog. On my way home from our church’s “glowstick” Christmas Eve service, I completely passed my street–the street sign barely visible.
As I navigated the darkened neighborhood streets, one of my favorite Scriptures came to mind, one often heard around this time of year: Isaiah 9:2–“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in a land of deep darkness, a light has dawned.”
I wonder, what did that “great light” look like in the lives of those living in literal bondage to other nations? Was it a full-on floodlight of life-changing awareness? A sunrise kind of light, signalling a new day has dawned? Or was it more like candlelight, shedding just enough light for the next steps? I like to think the answer is yes and yes. The Light of the world is great, simply by virtue of being the Son of God. And that light shines into all the recesses of our lives. At times, it’s that life-changing kind of light, like that blinding light that stopped Paul in his tracks on his way to Damascus. Often however, it’s more like a flickering candle light or a dimmed street light, emitting just enough light to keep us moving ahead on the path. Maybe it’s an awareness that we can’t do it all. Or the realization that we’re not alone. Maybe it comes in the form of friends who shine a little light on our journey just by their presence.
On this most holy night, let’s celebrate that Light, however it comes to us.