Distraction of Darkness

 The star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. Matthew 2:9-10

Today, December 21, is not only the shortest day of the year (for those of us in the northern hemisphere) but then of course, it leads to the longest night.   Because this occurs annually right before Christmas, many churches have a tradition to hold a “Longest Night” service, or some call it “Blue Christmas”.  Unlike all other holiday services that celebrate the hope, joy, love, and peace, this service provides a place of refuge and comfort for those who are mourning.  The ones I have attended have begun with a dark room and then slowly added light through candles, symbolizing the light of Christ.

Christmas, more than any other time, is the season when all is supposed to be “merry and bright”. The hymns, carols, movies, and decorations shout “joy” to the world.  This makes it even harder when we are in turmoil and we put on that paper face smile trying to hide that fact that we are grieving the absence of a loved one, the loss of finances, an illness that has robbed us of our abilities, or the challenges of 2020. When we are struggling, it feels like we are walking in a constant darkness, unable to see or embrace the light.

This year of all years, God knew we would be challenged. In His divine plan, God is sending a gift to all of us on this longest, darkest night of the year. For the first time in 800 years, the planets Jupiter and Saturn will be lining up to create a celestial super star to light the night sky.  It is hypothesized that this could have been the same phenomena that occurred when Christ was born, thus it has been named, the Christmas star. This star (assuming we will have clear skies) will bring the comfort of light to our dark skies much like a candle brings light to a dark room.

Jesus talked about being the light of the world. When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12.  Doesn’t it make sense that God would allow us to experience this light phenomena during the season in which we celebrate His birth? 

God sent His light into the world on that first silent and holy night in the form of a tiny baby. That light is the source of salvation, faith as well as joy, hope, peace and love. It’s my prayer that you can find refuge and comfort in this light that overcomes all darkness. You may not be able to attend a Blue Christmas service, but maybe you can take time to search the skies for this promise of hope, or even light a candle in the dark as a reminder, you do not bear your burden alone. The Savior of the world is with you.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12

Dear Lord, On this longest night of the year, I thank You for Your creation of the Christmas Star. Just as that star is bringing light to a dark world, reveal Yourself to me in the midst of my darkness. I need to experience Your light, love, hope, comfort, strength, and peace. Amen

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