I haven't had much in the way of words to share lately, as evidenced by the radio silence around here, and I've got several half-written posts sitting in my drafts folder waiting to be finished. But I needed to share something short today; I couldn't not.
I'm a poet at heart, and flowery words pour out of me at the best of times. But every year on December 21st, I feel especially poetic. There's something about the shortest day of the year that strikes me as beautiful and melancholy and hopeful as Christmas approaches.
I'm feeling it even more than usual this year, though, with a whole host of changes to my life this month. Life has been busy and surprising and beautiful, and I'm incredibly tired. But my heart is full and I am so excited for these coming days and weeks to unfold.
There's something powerful about the very tangible fact that the darkness does not get to claim any more ground than this. It stops here. Starting tomorrow, we will reclaim fragments of daylight, collecting sunshine piece by piece, clawing back at the night sky that so envelops December. This is as dark as it's going to get.
There's something powerful about the fact that after 400 years of silence, a child was born into a weary world that felt like God had forgotten them. His presence blasted through the darkness, that good news of great joy which is for all people ringing through the hills. His presence declared that the darkness stops here.
This child who was born to be the fulfillment of all things, the long expected one that inspired these words:
'the people dwelling in darkness
Have seen a great light,
And for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
On them a light has dawned.' (Matthew 11:16, quoting Isaiah)
If there's anything I've learned this year, it's that God is never not calling out to us, that he reaches down to us through his son, his voice constantly whispering -
I'm not out of reach;
I've never been out of reach.
Despite it all, I see you.
You haven't been forgotten
my beautiful, beloved child:
I live and die for you.
When the days feel shadowy and alone, remember that the darkness does not win; in Jesus' name, Good has the victory and there is so much hope in the days ahead. Light has dawned, and his name is Jesus. He lives and dies for you.
Rest in that truth, friends. Let it seep into your bones and bring peace to your soul this Christmas season. Know that you are not alone, that there is One whose heart is always for you, no matter whether you are surrounded by loved ones or spending the holiday far away from your people.
It only gets brighter from here. Wishing you the merriest of Christmases.