Over the years, I have spent Christmas in many different places.
Many were in the dense jungles of Papua New Guinea where the term ‘white Christmas’ felt more like a fairy tale. Where the tribal people we lived with understood what it meant for the Christ-Child to be born in a pile of dirty straw. Their own children had even less. Where I clearly saw that He had not come for only the white and privileged–but for the broken and dirty. For each and every one of us. Because, our circumstances and appearances aside, we are all dirty. All battling a darkness that we cannot withstand on our own.
One of my all-time favorite Christmas carols is ‘Hark The Herald Angels Sing.’ And for more than just my slight obsession with the Heavenly messengers. The song itself is gorgeous, but there are a few lines that always catch in my heart.
‘Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with Healing in his wings.’
Light. Such a simple concept–yet with a depth I cannot begin to grasp ahold of. He didn’t just come as light, as an embodiment of everything pure and bright and good–He came into our darkness. Reached down and touched it. Touched us. With the tiny fist of a newborn at first, and then with the bloodied wrists of a sacrifice. He touched our diseases–both physical and internal. He touched the outcasts and the mighty alike. He saw every hidden thought. Every dark desire. And he didn’t shy away. Even when we were nailing him to a tree, He still fought against the darkness.
And He won.
Because He didn’t come only to ignite our darkness, to shed light into the dark, dank parts of our rotting hearts. He came to defy the night and rise again. To give us life eternal, in His very presence, where not even a shadow can stand. He rose to heal us, to wrap his arms, his protective wings, around us.
He came as a baby, born into our darkness, but with a light so bold, He could ignite our very hearts–bring our dead souls to life. And I am ever, ever so grateful.
So, as you string up lights around your tree this Christmas season, or see the houses lit up like shining stars along your street, don’t lose sight of how powerful the Light truly is. And how He came into our darkness so that we could live. That, after all, is why we celebrate.
(And some Pentatonix because they’re always amazing. You’re welcome 🙂 )