“The First Noel”
United Methodist Hymnal – #245
. . . and to the earth it gave great light,
and so it continued both day and night.
Do you think that darkness gets a bad rap? The metaphors are everywhere. We are encouraged to understand: Light = good, Dark = bad. Why else would Darth Vader be from the “Dark Side”? But in the dark, we can see the stars in the heavens. We can see the Northern Lights (if we’re lucky enough). We sit in a dark room at the movies, and many of us sleep in completely darkened rooms. You can’t tell me that my nice comfortable bed is bad. So what about light? Well . . . it’s far stronger than dark. The tiniest light can erase the darkness. Light can keep us safe. Think about a lighthouse. Or that firm footing is impossible in complete darkness. Why else would there be an issue with the “people who walked in darkness”? Closer to home, the “Dayspring” is believed to be the coming of light into the world. The original stained glass window (in the Fellowship Hall) is a perfect depiction of that. The birth of the Christ Child was announced by the presence of a star. Be it a navigational device, or simply illumination for the Magi, a star filled the sky with its light. And like a light house, guided the 3 Kings to Bethlehem. That’s why we light candles on Christmas Eve. When we share our individual flame with those around us, the light increases exponentially. And while dark may not be really bad, the light, Christ’s light, illuminates everything around us, but only when we share it. You know, it doesn’t have to be a candle. What might your light be?
O send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me; let them bring me
to your holy hill, and to your dwelling.
PSALM 43: 3
God of light and life, we come to you as those who have walked in darkness. We long for your light to illuminate our path. We draw strength, assurance, and stability from your light. Help us, guide us to discern our own light, giving us the ability to understand where we might illumine those we encounter. Let us, like your Son, be a source of light and life in our world. Amen.
~Rev. L. Michael Kelley