There is a mourning, a fog of sadness that covers me when I take down the Christmas decorations. For five weeks the sparkling silver, red, and green have overtaken our house. Lights twinkling in the darkness, glowing, guiding me during my early morning reading. But today, it will all be put away. The white cold, stark days begin. Days of waiting until we can decorate again. And as much as a dread the undoing, I crave the cool, clean crispness of January unfolding forward into spring, summer, and beyond.
It is in this chilly darkness that I remember to crave the Light. To be ever mindful of it, to never take it for granted. The prophet Isaiah states: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2) The passage of time each year brings us to another Christmas. But the truth of it is that “Christmas can only be found” – Ann Voskamp reminds us in her book “The Greatest Gift”. Christmas is our hope, our brilliance even when the lights are put away and the shadows of winter lay before us. It is here where Ann reminds us that “God favors the darkest places so you can see his light the brightest.”
Epiphany is upon us. The traditional date when the wise men visited baby Jesus after following the star to Bethlehem. Their journey took them many months over difficult terrain. Each night they marked the position of the star in order to keep following it. It was only in the darkness where they could find their position and map out where to go.
We also wait in the shadows of this world that is not our home. May we continually seek the light of Jesus in these months until Christmas. May we love others looking for light in them as we reflect the glow that Jesus is to us. And may we remember what the disciple John wrote: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)