Written by Anne-Louise DePalo
Isaiah 9:1 “The people who walk in darkness/have seen a great light.”
When I was young, I was afraid of the dark. My bedroom was upstairs, and when my mother put me to bed and tucked me in, I dreaded when she shut the light and left the room. She bought me an angel night light and told me the angel would watch over me hoping it would coax me to sleep. I would stare at that angel until I fell asleep; trying not to pay attention to the shadows and the darkness I saw all around me. Today, I cannot sleep with any light. I draw the shades and I wear a blindfold to keep any light out. How things change!
Today’s opening line from Isaiah in the first readingis about walking in darkness. It is a paradox and contradiction. How can we walk in darkness? Darkness restricts our movement and prevents us from “seeing.” When I have my blindfolds on, I dare not get out of bed without removing them knowing I would stumble and fall. The little child I once was needed that angel nightlight on just in case I woke up and had to “see.”
Christmas Day is a celebration of “lights.” We illuminate our homes inside and out, and we put lights on our Christmas trees. We add tinsel to tree branches to catch the “light” and we crown our trees with a star. This light we celebrate is the light of Christ – a light of hope, salvation, and joy. It is only His light which will show us “the way.” A tiny baby born in a manger enlightened the world – a world full of darkness – a world where people often walk, run, move, and live in darkness and go nowhere. Christmas is a day to celebrate the light of Christ. It is the only light that can illuminate our soul and guide us so we can live an abundant life. Without it we will live with permanent blindfolds – stumbling, falling, and never finding the peace and love we all seek. Follow the Light.
May the light of Christ be with you this Christmas and in the coming year.