The world has been leaning into this season, in some form, since prior to Halloween. Now that the presents have come and gone some in the world are leaning into the next big thing--New Year's Eve? Super Bowl? Groundhog's Day? etc., etc.
The truth is that we in the church linger in the good news of Christmas--the light shining into the darkness. And next we move into Epiphany (starting January 6th) where we pay particular attention to what this heavenly light reveals into our broody and shadowy world.
May your time with family and friends, food and drink, song and good cheer continue to be blessed. And may God bathe you in the light that we so desperately need.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
The thing is that the dark world needs light to be brought to bear. God sent the light in the form and life of Jesus. In baptism we are connected with that renewed life. We are called to bear witness to the life and ministry of Jesus. That is why we quote Matthew 5:16 to baptismal parties: In the same way, light your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. We, like John, are not the light, but we are sent to testify to the light. We have been graced by the true light, which enlightens everyone, which has come into the world.
Because God has come to us, all humanity, and has empowered us to receive Jesus we are made the children of God. We are born initially through the gift of the marvelous creation of God and fleshly impulses. We are reborn, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or a human decision, but by God's will. When we pray "Thy will be done..." we are, in part, praying the would become more realized children of God.
God, the Word, Jesus, has become flesh and lived among us. Jesus still brings grace and salvation to bear on all flesh and continues to live among us. We have been graced to see glimpses of his glory. His glory is full of grace and truth. May all of our days and ways be shaped by that grace and that truth as well.
God, change our dark-loving ways into ones that accept and emit your light. May we bear shiny witness that does little else save bear witness to your salvation. Amen.