Posted by: AJtheIrishLass | December 25, 2017

Turning a Light On

green christmas tree with string lights

Photo by Elina Fairytale on

It’s truly a paradox that we celebrate the one true Light of the World during one of the darkest times of the year. Yet, despite the irony, there is a bigger spiritual purpose to celebrating Christ’s Incarnation at the time we do.

Even though theories about the time of year Jesus was born abound, we do know that the early Church treated celebrating Jesus’ Resurrection with very great importance. Celebrating his birth came a little bit later, when Church leaders needed to redirect celebration of Sol Invictus to a Christian celebration.

Isaiah 52:7-10 carries a beautiful theme of redemption “for all the world to see”. Rather than creating an unholy union by replacing pagan celebrations with Christian ones celebrated on the same dates, maybe what we’re doing is helping bridge that gap between sacred and secular to make the Good News of redemption more accessible.

One of the most-beloved hymns of the Christmas season, “Joy to the World”, contains echoes of Psalm 98. Reading or chanting this psalm during the service helps bring the importance of redemption among God’s people to light in our time.

Hebrews 1:1-12 helps further emphasize Christ’s coming as part of the bigger story that humanity is a major part of. Redemption is just as much of part of the story today as it was long ago, and we do well to remember our part in this story doesn’t just go into storage on a shelf until next year.

Perhaps the best summary of it all is in John’s Gospel in 1:1-14 when he describes God becoming human and very literally living among us. As one who has been among us and lived as one of us, we have greater assurance that “God is with us” indeed.


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