I came home late last night (Christmas Eve), exhausted and exhilarated from my work at the church. Snuggled on the couch, I found it funny to see my wife and two twenty-ish year-old children in fetal positions, waiting for me like 5 years olds waiting for Santa.
I saw it in their eyes. They wanted to open gifts. Succumbing to their kid-like grins, I agreed. Nathan played Santa. And let me just say, he was hilarious. Diving under the tree, he’d grab gifts and deliver them to their designated owners. Each gift opened, he danced around and was more excited about the gift than the opener was. “Its a Christmas miracle!” he’d exclaim at the revelation of every gift of socks, lotion or deodorant (that last one was mine and yes, we’re cheap).
There was one problem. The lights in our living room were dim — very dim. It’s how my family likes it to create a ‘mood’ as they call it. For me, I couldn’t see anything. Mood, shmood — if there is no light, you fumble around, even when opening Christmas gifts.
That is how it is when the light is dim. Life becomes a frustrating game of fumbling.
That is why Christmas is a wonderful celebration of light. A light from God, coming down and breaking into the story of man. Jesus dispelling the darkness that causes all men to fumble.
There is a hymn we used to sing in which is sung,
“In him there is no darkness at all. The night and the day are both alike.”
Yes, Christmas. The celebration that into our brokenness, God sends healing. In our desperation, God sends hope. In our darkness, God sends a little baby to be the light of the world.
This morning, the gifts are unwrapped and sitting on our coffee table. Now that it’s morning, I can actually see what everyone received, because the light has come and all is well.