Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Like so many people around the world, the image of Aylan Kurdi's body-- the 3 year old Syrian boy -- washed up on a Turkish beach haunts me. Since seeing that photograph in early September, I can't look at my 3 year old daughter without feeling a small piece of the immense grief Aylan's father must endure every day. Darkness. Darkness multiplied by the almost 1 million stories of refugees who have attempted to enter Europe this year.
Like so many people around the world, the tragic violence we witnessed in Beirut, Paris, Colorado Springs, and San Bernardino left me desolate, scared and angry. Darkness. Immense darkness.
Like so many people around our country, the unfolding stories of prejudice and brutality inflicted upon people of color -- especially black men -- have left me depressed and outraged. Darkness. Terrible darkness.
The last few months have indeed been dark. And yet our faith affirms that no matter how dark the night may seem, the light still shines. The darkness has not overcome the light. Morning will come.
This Christmas, as we celebrate once more the birth of Christ, let us commit to working together to bring His light into our world, even and especially when all seems dark. Let us dedicate ourselves to compassion, justice and peace. Christmas, then, might not be just something that happened long ago, a historical event that we remember once each December. Instead, Christmas may be a present reality that we enact. Perhaps more importantly, the full power and majesty of God’s love poured out for us in Jesus may sustain us in the hard moments, long after the beauty of this season gives way to more ordinary time, throughout all the months to come.
The light shines in the darkness. And the darkness has not overcome it.
-Michael Lovette-Colyer, PhD, Assistant Vice President and Director, University Ministry