Be Light (a Christmas card)

“A light shines in the darkness…”

Jesus, according to his first century biographers, was not born into peace, but into tax season, under the thumb of an unimaginably cruel occupying empire (Luke’s account).

His life was threatened and his family fled to a neighbouring country while his newborn contemporaries were killed by command of a half-crazed puppet king intent on snuffing him out (Matthew’s account).

Later, Jesus died so hideously that ancient literature has little record of the details of that kind of capital punishment. They simply didn’t talk about how insurrectionists and runaway slaves died. The worst, most humiliating end the powers could dream up.

This is no cuddly story, and the “good news of great joy for all people” did not arrive as a fairytale. The birth and the news landed into a world as dark, dangerous and hopeless as our own. But it was news that change was coming.

Jesus turned the ancient world upside down, and continues to turn our world upside down. God knows we need it.

There are many, many millions serving directly in Jesus’ name or indirectly based on his values and legacy today. My colleagues and I bear witness to a small slice of this luminous work regularly. Work that will not make headlines or the cover of a Christmas card.

Do not lose hope, lose apathy. Follow Jesus’ lead. Serve the poor. Pray for the vulnerable. Jesus has always belonged with them, as well as with you and with me. No one owns him exclusively. He does not belong to us, but we all to him.

File in to see the baby. Give your ear to the teachings and message. Give your heart of the one we can’t snuff out.

Be light.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1)