For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4: 6
The love that descended to Bethlehem is not the easy sympathy of an avuncular God, but a burning fire whose light chases away every shadow, floods every corner, and turns midnight into noon. This love reveals sin and overcomes it. It conquers darkness with such forcefulness and intensity that it scatters the proud, humbles the mighty, feeds the hungry, and sends the rich away empty-handed (Luke 1:51-53).
~from the editors’ introduction in Watch for the Light
On this morning before the longest night of the year, I look out the window eagerly desiring a post-solstice reprieve from interminable darkness. I seek that promise of being led back into the light, even if it will take months to get there. It is a promise that keeps me going even if I will barely perceive the few minutes of extra daylight tomorrow. It is from the simple knowledge that things are changing — getting lighter and brighter — that I harvest hope.
God made light through His Word, not once but twice. In the beginning, He created the sun and the moon to penetrate and illuminate the creation of our hearts and our souls. In the stable He came to light the world from below as well as from above so those hearts and souls could be saved from self-destruction.
I am showered with His light even on the longest night of the year and forever more, lit from the glory of God reflected in the many faces of Jesus: as newborn, child teacher, working carpenter, healer, itinerant preacher, unjustly condemned, dying and dead, raised and ascended Son of God.
Let the dark days come as they certainly will. They cannot overwhelm me now, lit from within no matter how deeply the darkness oppresses.
I know His promise.
I know His face.
He knows I know.
A spotless rose is blowing,
Sprung from a tender root,
Of ancient seers foreshowing,
Of Jesse promised fruit;
Its fairest bud unfolds to light
Amid the cold, cold winder,
And in the dark midnight.
The rose which I am singing,
Whereof Isaiah said,
Is from its sweet root springing
In Mary purest maid;
For through our God’s great love and might,|
The Blessed Babe she bare us
In a cold, cold winter’s night.
A tender shoot has started up from a root of grace,
as ancient seers imparted from Jesse’s holy race:
It blooms without a blight, blooms in the cold bleak winter,
turning our darkness into light.
This shoot Isaiah taught us, from Jesse’s root should spring;
The Virgin Mary brought us the branch of which we sing;
Our God of endless might gave her this child to save us,
Thus turning darkness into light.