I recently turned on the radio and heard someone being interviewed about a horrific crisis. I don’t even know what the problem was. But the young man responding said that the situation was so terrible, so tragic, so awful, that one thing was sure: Good would come from it. Somehow, it would lead to change that would be good. There would be a positive outcome. He was absolutely certain.
Yesterday was the winter solstice. It was the day of the year with the most darkness and the least hours of light. It is the darkest day of the year. And today, today, there is more light. There will be more minutes of day light. And more. And more. And more. We have passed the darkest day.
Jesus was born in dark times. His society was oppressed and living under occupation. There was a significant military presence. His family was poor and economic opportunity was limited. And the story we are given in the Gospel of Luke tells of a birth in the night, the darkness, away from home, in makeshift quarters in a barn. Dark times.
When times are dark, we know that the light is coming. That’s when the light comes. That’s when something breaks through, or seeps in, and transformation happens.
These days of Advent, waiting, watching, hoping, wondering, are drawing to an end. We ready ourselves to welcome the light that shines in the darkness.
Can you think of a time when good came from something difficult and painful? A phoenix from the ashes?
Prayer: May we trust that there is light even when we don’t seem to be able to see it: light in the world, light in others, light in ourselves. May we look for the light, where ever and whenever it may appear. Amen.