A light reflection for Christmas Day

Why do we read John on Christmas morning, instead of one of those cute pageant stories from Matthew or Luke? It is because for John, this is Christmas: that Christ was born before the worlds began, as old as God, as eternal as light, and that the Christmas we remember from two thousand years ago, when Jesus was born, truly a baby, truly of God, that Christmas is like a star shining in the night sky, still spilling its light into the world, seen now as though from a distance, but covering space and time so completely that we are never in its shadow.

The light that comes from the brightest stars is years old by the time we see it in the night sky. Even our sun takes some seconds to illuminate our days. But even the vast darkness of space will not overcome it; light endures.

Even in the darkest room, if a light is struck and then blown out, the image that stays on the inside of your eyelids is not one of darkness, but of the glow of the yellow flame.

We are meant for the light, and the light was meant for us.

In him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

The amazing thing that John points out with his poetry is that all of those children who act out the pageant of angels and shepherds and Mary and Joseph; each of them has the power to be the child of God, born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, but of God.

The life that lights up the world is contained in a tiny child, and cries out to the darkness, splitting it with its brightness and creating new life wherever it is seen, creating new life even today, even in us, who see in the night sky the light that has travelled many years to get here, and will not be overcome by space or time.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we would never see things quite the same way again, seeing them, seeing God, as it were, in a whole new light.



About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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