Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them (Luke 2:9)

The Bible’s stories of Christmas are resplendent in light.

Angels appear flooding the night sky with light, the glory of the Lord startles shepherds on a hillside, a star in the heavens guides wise men to the place where lies a child who is the “light of the world.”

Just so, in the middle of the night on the winter solstice, the “dawn from on high breaks upon us to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.”

Our music savors this contrast of light and darkness: In the dark streets shineth the everlasting light. Or this, Silent night, Holy night, all is calm, all is bright.

Darkness is a symbol for everything that is wrong with the world and us—sin and selfishness, greed and apathy, hunger and injustice, misery of all types amid a world so at odds with itself peace seems impractical and impossible.

But light is the active presence and power of God, the shining forth of God … everywhere. It is everything that enlightens our pathway to God.

We experience the light of the world in lots of places—in justice and mercy, grace and beauty, every act of care and compassion, in all that is good, right, virtuous and life-giving. Trouble is, most often we don’t know what, make that who, we are seeing.

Which is why the Loving Mystery, who created light before creating anything else, put a human face on the light of the world.

This child in the manger, this Jesus, is the face of the Eternal Light, the heart of the Immeasurable Love, shining forth to light and warm your heart in the bleak midwinter of living.

Pr. David L. Miller