The Christmas season is marked by light. Lights strung around the tree, candles burning in windows, fireplaces warming homes, storefronts decorated with lights… Many families will take a drive to go see the lights or see a tree in their city adorned with lights. The beauty of light clearly draws us in.
I’ve been rediscovering the glory of light as I watch my 2.5-month-old stare at lights — not just Christmas lights, but any kind of light. I am realizing that we are born with an innate draw to the gift and mystery of light. And while my sweet little baby stares with wonder at light, she is often being stared at by the people around her. When we introduce her to friends and family, people find themselves circled around her, staring in wonder in the same way she herself stares at a light. I’ve had two friends say in the past week that babies are like campfires — you feel like you can just stare at them forever. There is a beauty, a wonder, and a joy in the presence of a baby and in the light of a campfire that draws our hearts. This mystery of light is at the beginning of creation, as God himself created light before anything else (Genesis 1:3). And this mystery of light is revealed to us further at the beginning of the Gospel, the beginning of our re-creation in Christ, as the Light of the world comes to us as a newborn baby. How everyone present at Christ’s Nativity must have stared at this baby with an unmatched wonder and awe, as they stared at the One True Light Himself.
Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
The refrain of today’s Psalm taken from the Gospel of John (Jn 8:12) reminds us that as Christians, we possess the gift of light, for Christ is the fullness of light. It is through Christ that we are called into union with the Creator of light, the Father, and made partakers in this light by the fire of the Holy Spirit. We may already be well aware that as Christians we possess the light of Christ, but this Advent, perhaps the Lord is calling us deeper, asking us to receive His light more fully. What area or aspect of your heart or life remains in darkness? These areas may take some prayerful digging to find. Anxiety, fear, hopelessness… Ask the Lord to reveal this place to you, in His gentleness and love. This is where the Lord yearns to be invited. To bring an end to any remaining darkness with the light of life.
I hope that every light we see this Advent and Christmas points us to the One True Light Himself. The Savior of the world, God Himself, was born to us a beautiful, sweet baby. Come let us adore Him, and stare in wonder at the baby Jesus, the Light who changed everything.