Christmas Eve Reflection 2019
In all sorts of ways we celebrate Christmas with lights. We put ligts around houses, on trees here in church we light candles. Christmas isn’t Christmas without some lights Some of this makes more sense in the northern hemisphere where its winter and darkness comes early.
Light is essential for us. We need it to find our way. Without light nothing grows. We need it to see each other clearly and to see the beautiful world we live in. Christians talk of Jesus as a light. He helps us find our way in life. He helps us discover what is important and true. The Bible says that somehow the world is in darkness and needs a light to shine on what is good and true, a light to show us the way. The light of Jesus takes many forms. In the darkness many of us doubt our value and worth. When I call Jesus light in my life one part of that light is his teaching that each one of us precious and each one with a purpose. It is a light that it opens our eyes to see the sacredness in others. There will always be people I find it hard to get along with in this world, because we are all different, but the light of Jesus calls us to respect others and to look for the presence of God in others. The light of Jesus helps us see in another way. Every one of us is meant to be, called into being by God, uniquely crafted by God. We need Gods light to build communities where people are valued and we treat one another with compassion.
As we look back over this past year we remember March 15th. 51 people killed in our city, families left without fathers and sons, many facing ongoing disability, and mental trauma. The outpouring of compassion and the renewed effort to look over the fences that divide, the work put in to build bridges was a sign of the light. ‘Them’ became ‘us’. I trust you can reflect on ways you embraced the light.
We all have this ability to look at others who are different and pull out the label ‘them’. I like to put someone else down because it makes me feel better. It gives me self worth to find fault in others. The light of Jesus encourages us to see that we are all cracked in some way. Every one of us is flawed. We actually all know that deep down and we have to find a way to deal with that. The us and them way is not the way of the light. Put a box around them and load our stuff on them – it’s called transference and we all do it.
But there is another way. Bring the light of Jesus into the narrative. This light invites us to tell a story of valuing ourselves and each other just as we are, cracks and all. We are valued, we are loved by God as cracked imperfect human beings. Within that light we can begin the work of transforming and healing ourselves, and the communities of which we are part addressing issues like systematic inequality, our consumptive lifestyles, the crazy busyness, climate change.
It begins when we begin to see with the light of Christ.
If there is one sentence that sums up the light of Christ it is this great truth he gave us ….love God and your neighbour as you love yourself. Respect God and respect your neighbour as you do yourself. It is not easy but this is the light that will heal the darkness in our world. This is the light that I celebrate in the birth of the Jesus the Son of God.