In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4, 5 (NIV)
Come with me to one of my favorite spots at Christmas. We proceed through streets with houses that have been handed down from generation to generation and where the tree branches form a beautiful canopy as we pass. We circle the roundabout with its three lighted Christmas trees proclaiming the season, and then we make a right onto a commercial avenue.
In a few more blocks we make a left, and there we are. Just this side of the railroad tracks is a collection of tiny homes that are resplendent with lights—colored, white, flashing, steady—speaking of the Light that came into the world more than two thousand years ago. It only happens once a year in this sweet neighborhood, but it is worth the drive to experience the joy, the hope, and the love found in the tiny community.
I first saw it the night I was driving home from the hospital where my husband lay dying. Intellectually, I knew the promises and the gift of eternal life that would soon be his, but my emotions were in a different place. And then I turned onto Dora Street. There in the middle of an economically marginalized neighborhood, the Life that was the Light of all mankind shone brightly for me. The darkness of the deep December midnight could not obscure it in any way, and I was assured that the Light would guide my husband home and would be with me forever afterward.
Sweet Jesus, you told us that you are the light of the world. You never leave us, and when we walk with you, there is no darkness. Thank you for shining into our lives. AMEN.