The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.

Isaiah 9:2

The Adoration of the Shepherds by Caravaggio (1609).
The Adoration of the Shepherds by Caravaggio (1609).

Darkness is our beginning
Not our ending.

We begin in darkness
The womb of Creation
Covering the face of the deep.
So also, darkness is the beginning
Of Redemption.

A Star appears in the darkness—
A signpost to the wise
Of all times and from all places
To leave their darkness
And journey to find him
Who is Light.

Light is found
Not in a palace of privilege
But in a place of poverty.
Light is found
With an angelic chorus
To shepherds at their work by night.
Light is found
In a stable that is
Heaven’s Gate to a Renewed Creation.

Darkness is not our destiny—
Light is.

Something to Do:

Watch Canadian singer and songwriter Steve Bell sing “The Magnificat” in the Shepherds’ Field Chapel in Bethlehem in this 2010 video.

Prayer:

“O Clavis” (Key of David) by Malcolm Guite, from Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year.

Even in the darkness where I sit
And huddle in the midst of misery
I can remember freedom, but forget
That every lock must answer to a key,
That each dark clasp, sharp and intimate,
Must find a counter-clasp to meet its guard.
Particular, exact and intricate,
The clutch and catch that meshes with its ward.
I cry out for the key I threw away
That turned and over turned with certain touch
And with the lovely lifting of a latch
Opened my darkness to the light of day.
O come again, come quickly, set me free,
Cut to the quick to fit, the master key.

Amen.

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