Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Darkest Day

For many years, I have overheard disdainful comments about the celebration of Christmas in December.

"It's a pagan celebration of the winter solstice."
The trees are evil.
It's too commercial.
It's the feast of Saturnalia.
Jesus was not born in December.

Personally, though, I love that for a short season every year I hear the Gospel in song in public places. That the whole world considers Immanuel, God With Us. That His humility and His compassion for us are something to pause over even to those who haven't yet received Him.

It is the darkest time of the year, and He came to us in our darkness -- the Light of the world. When my third child was born, I looked at her and broke down because I thought about Him. That He would condescend to a human birth -- an arrival that requires washing for its messiness -- just overwhelmed me. I think it is appropriate to celebrate the arrival of the Light of the world in the darkest days of the year. He is Light, and every one of us who has received Him has had Him come to us in our darkness. Dark minds. Dark hearts. Dark futures.

I saw a news article today that said that this year the winter solstice and a lunar eclipse are coinciding for the first time in 456 years -- making Tuesday the darkest day in over four centuries.

Joy to the world: the Lord is come--
Let earth receive her King!

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