Fittingly, Christmas is on the horizon.
Positioned in the midst of the winter solstice, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ at a specific moment in the history of the world, a recognition of His Incarnation in our hearts and lives today, and a recognition that He will come again.
We celebrate the Light of the World during a season where we fight against the darkness. We push back at it with Advent wreaths, shining in full glory with all four candles ablaze. We push back at the darkness with lights on our trees. We push back at the long nights with lights on our houses and across our neighborhoods and cities.
Let us follow suit: keep pushing back the dark.
Zechariah, the father of St. John the Baptist, made this connection between light and his Nephew, "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."
The dawn from on high shall break upon us, to push back the dark.
In the midst of all the presents and dinners and cookies, let us remember the real reason for Christmas, to push back the dark.
And, when December 26 dawns, let us realize that the real work of Christmas begins, and that Christmas is a season, not just a day. It is a lifetime, a daily invitation to let our lights shine - His Light within us - for the whole world to see.
After opening all of the packages, and Christmas songs no longer fill our televisions, radios and devices, let us push back the dark.
In the words of Howard Thurman:
When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with their flocks, the work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among the people, to make music in the heart.Keep pushing back the dark. Go light up the world.