Christmas Message 2017
by The Rev. Teresa Seagle
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness–
on them light has shined. Isaiah 9:2
Our world can seem like a very dark place at times. Grief and loneliness can cover us like a large, heavy blanket weighing on our heads refusing to let any light reach us. Sickness, that we are enduring or a loved one is battling, brings us to our knees as we struggle to walk through the day. Nature’s wrath in the form of natural disasters, flooding and wildfires, and the resulting human suffering, tears at our hearts. A world filled with conflict, wars, and political and economic unrest causes distress and confusion. Where is the hope?
On that first Christmas, over 2000 years ago, a great light came into the world. The darkness that had covered the earth was dispelled. The great light came in the form of a baby boy. The great light came in the form of joy, peace, and love. God came to live among us.
Jesus brought light into the world. He came into a dark and desperate place. He came into a world where sin abounds and where bad things happen to good people. When Jesus came into the world those things did not change. Sin stills abounds; bad things still happen to good people. But Jesus, the light, came into the world to dispel the darkness.
For Christians, we are able to live in a broken world with hope – a hope that castes away the darkness. As Christians we are called to bring this light and hope to others – to act in this broken world. We can reach out to the poor and the needy, the lonely and the grieving. We are called to go beyond ourselves to act as Christ for others – bringing love, mercy, and compassion to illuminate the dark places. Through us, Jesus continues to act to dispel the darkness.
Though we have all walked in great darkness, with Jesus the darkness is driven away. May you and your family know the peace, joy, and love of God today and always. May you and yours have a very Merry Christmas.