Christmas is my favorite time of year. It is a time of light and warmth and family. For some, it is a challenging time of year, whether because of the loss of loved ones or because they are unable to make it home for the holidays. Perhaps this depth of realization of the things that really matter in life is what makes me love this holiday even more.
Christmas didn’t begin as the holiday we know today in the U.S. It began as a celebration that light was returning to the darkened lands of northern Europe. The Winter Solstice had come and the long nights would soon give into eternal day. When the Catholic Church took over this particular holiday for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, they sought to remove the debauchery of the festival. However, what better time to celebrate the coming of the Christ-Child, the Light of the World, than at the darkest time of year?
Into the cold, sinful world, the Savior was born. Not as a king, but as a baby, a newborn. As the light of a new year began to spread over the northern lands, the child grew. Years later, he would conquer darkness for good. But for now, Christmas gives just a tiny peek into that hope.
The time of Advent reminds us that Jesus came to bring Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace into the world. At a time when killings and natural disasters seem to be compounding by the day, it is of great comfort to remember the One who brings us peace and love. It is the joy we can have when we remember the hope that darkness will come to an end. The solstice is passing. Light has come into the world.
So, this holiday season, may you and yours know this comfort and may it continue on until the light of Midsummer comes to fruition.