Friday, December 23, 2016
“All the Light We Cannot See” is the title of a novel by Anthony Doerr set in Europe in the 1930’s and 1940’s as totalitarianism envelopes Germany and marches on into France. The main character stumbles upon a mysterious voice broadcasting on the radio. While tyranny descends and the world unravels into ruin, the anonymous voice communicates hope—a hope that cannot yet be seen. And in the simple act of speaking out loud, this hope becomes a reality.
It takes a few years and a lot of suspenseful, heartbreaking page turns to get there.
Christmas morning we are greeted, not by shepherds and angels on the outskirts of Bethlehem, but by an anonymous disembodied voice transmitting from who knows where. On this day people all over the world are tuning in to listen. Recorded long ago, this voice is still speaking to us now, telling us, “The light shines in the darkness.”
But if we are looking beyond the Christmas lights it just doesn’t really seem possible, does it?
The winter is literally a dark time, because the days are so short. But looking out upon the world, it seems as if the shadows of cruelty and violence, bigotry and greed, deceit and avarice are advancing. Looking upon on upon our own lives, there are places where grief, anger, fear, and loneliness create deep voids that threaten to swallow all that is good.
But still the voice is speaking these curious and confounding words of hope:
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
In the proclamation the Word is made flesh.
In the speaking this hope becomes incarnate.
In the listening this future becomes our present reality.
The light shines in the darkness, even if we cannot see it…yet.