Maybe darkness isn’t just in extreme sadness or difficulty, but in gloomy days, in the dog chewing up the ropes and ruining baby’s swing, in dropping raw eggs on your clean rug, on breathing treatments and nebulizers and waiting two hours to pick up your prescriptions. Maybe it’s in those moments of doubt and wondering if you’re cut out for this, in wondering why dinner isn’t planned yet. Maybe darkness is in questioning your worth. Maybe it’s in congestion and runny noses and sore throats and bills and dishwashers breaking. Perhaps it’s in those big and little inconveniences that throw you off your game.
Our culture presents Christmas time with a pressure for perfection, hallways and mantels lined with evergreen and berries. And good gosh, if there’s raw egg on your clean rug, and you’re asking God to help your baby breathe better, how can we soak in the magic of the season, with violins playing Silent Night in the background?
Here’s how: we remember that the mess never intimidated Jesus. Not then, in that dirty foreign place where he was born, and not here and now in our world. He’s not intimidated by the mess in your world, in your living room, with the laundry and the noise and the sinus pressure and your struggle to find your place. He sees our doubts and pressures and he whispers hope into our being. He whispers purpose because in him we have what we need. He came to be our joy so we don’t have to find it in ourselves or this shattered world that leaves us feeling empty. He came to be the solution. He came to save us from the darkness that we were born into.
This is the good news that makes us want to turn on the Christmas tree lights and let them shine brilliantly into the street for all to see.