Sunday, December 1, 2019


Lord of Light,  

It’s time for the Christmas story! The baby, the star, lambs and magi. But my Advent reading begins with Zechariah. I long for The Light; his Benedictus shoves me to the shadows. He blocks my sentimental Christmas notions. 

This ancient poem is a reality check for my tendency toward naïveté, optimism, even denial. It’s a reminder that we are living in the darkness of sin, in the shadow of death.  

Most days the headlines are like poison. Gun violence and violent posts. In politics, the darkness is palpable. I cast a shadow, too. The Light can be very dim.  

Zechariah lost his voice, dumbstruck in the shadows. Like him I must stand in the dark. I must own it. Only then can I fully appreciate The Light.  

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us, 
to shine on those who dwell in darkness 
and the shadow of death, 
and to guide our feet into the way of peace. 
(Luke 1:78-79)

Now, I can kneel at the manger - in The Light. The canticle’s full message of redemption, salvation, rescue and hope warms me. Something momentous is unfolding with this Christmas story. It’s a game changer. Coping skills for the darkness. The power to resist evil. A call to come alongside the Divine. There’s a measure of peace, and even more is promised. We step out of the shadows into The Light.  

The dawn from on high is breaking upon us.  


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