Sometimes life just hurts. I wish there were a more delicate way to say that. I wish there were a clever way to explain this fact away – maybe some whimsical cliché that we can all have a chuckle over? But I’ve got nothing. The truth is there are days when the burdens of life can weigh on us so heavy that we’re not sure how we’ll lift it, much less carry it around.
Around the middle of December it can be easy to be swept up in the holly, jolly tide of Christmas cheer. If life has dealt you a good hand, it’s a quite enjoyable time of the year. But if life has dealt you a bad hand, then that tide of Christmas joy can feel like it’s drowning you.
What are we to do as faithful Christians?
For starters, we can call to mind that Advent is a season for people who are in darkness waiting for the sort of light that will save them. You can’t commercialize or turn a profit on this sort of thing. Living in darkness and waiting for a great light isn’t very easy to market either. Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to forget (or avoid) this reality when we’re rushing through the season’s numerous to-do lists.
Author Taylor Caldwell writes, “I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses.”
This season is still the time God chooses to bring the world’s greatest hope into the very darkness of life that can seemingly weigh us down every day. There is, indeed, hope for those who live in darkness. May we stand in solidarity with those for whom darkness is an all too familiar reality this season. And may we all experience the Light of hope together. Amen.