From the Pulpit: God's light shines in darkness

By: 
Dan Nelson, Brandon & Splitrock Lutheran Churches
Merry Christmas! … at least I hope it is for you. Really, though, I hope it is. Because on these days of celebration with family, tidings of comfort and joy, hopes of peace on earth and good will to all, sometimes “Merry Christmas” can feel a little out of reach, a little far off.
If you look around the world at the troubles we have, the divisions, the pain … it can be far from everything being “calm and bright”. So, whatever kind of Christmas you are having, I want to state as plainly as possible that if the world around feels dark, that is exactly why Jesus was born. 
Jesus was born into a chaotic and divided world, too. A foreign power occupied his homeland, his parents had to take refuge in another country because of violence at home, different groups were clamoring for power in the religious and political realms of his time … into that Jesus is born.
Jesus is born into such a world because God is always moving toward us in that way. When we are surrounded by pain, darkness, and even death, God enters in to bring healing, light and life.
So, maybe it’s been a “merry” Christmas, maybe not. If not, God’s peace be with you and hold onto the promise that we find at the beginning of John’s Gospel,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5)
May the light of Christ shine in whatever darkness you find yourself dealing with this Christmas and may you know that nothing can put that light out! 
And know that if you are struggling through something in this season, please, talk to someone. Reach out to any of the pastors at our community. Call a helpline, tell a friend, and remember in all things that Christmas promise: God is with us. 
May God’s peace be with you all and I’ll say it again as a declaration, as an aspiration, as a prayer for us all: Merry Christmas!

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