If Your Christmas Season Hasn't Been Very Merry

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I’ve heard the Christmas story so many times that it’s started to lose its meaning, kind of like when you repeat a word so many times that it disconnects from its definition. The other day I was reading Luke 2 which is the classic “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” passage. I decided to look back to the end of Luke 1 before the angels announce the birth of Jesus. For some reason I had never read the passages leading up to the story of Jesus’ birth, or at least had never been impacted the way that I was this time.

“God’s Sunrise will break in upon us, Shining on those in the darkness, those sitting in the shadow of death, Then showing us the way, one foot at a time, down the path of peace.”

Luke 1: 78-79

I love the imagery of God’s sunrise breaking in. I can imagine the moment of stillness just before dawn when the world is covered in darkness. The sunrise breaks through the dark with a small sliver of light and grows to reveal the brilliance and warmth of the daytime.

Jesus entered our world as a small sliver of light. His life began as a tiny, newborn baby in a manger. But soon His brilliance was revealed, and His life and death broke through the darkness once and for all.

Maybe your Christmas season hasn’t been sparkly and filled with joy and laughter and cookies and presents and all the other things that the world has set as expectations for this season. Maybe it has been dark and lonely and heavy and not holly jolly at all. If that is your truth, that is okay. Don’t be so focused on achieving the “merry” that you forget the “Christmas.”

Christmas is the celebration of the precise moment those sitting in the shadow of darkness began their journey on the path of peace, not a celebration of a world already in the middle of a season of joy. If you feel like you’re living a life that is covered in shadows and darkness, use this Christmas and the promise of a new year to celebrate the beginning of your journey toward peace. One foot at a time, let the light guide you out of the shadows.

Life can hand us seasons of unbelievably profound darkness. Darkness that is so pervasive you can hardly tell whether your eyes are open or closed. The only truth you need to declare in those times is this:

“A light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

John 1:5

The light of God’s sunrise broke through the darkness, and that light will continue to shine for eternity. The darkness has not and will not overcome that light. Cling to that light. Grab that spark of hope. Hold tight, and let it lead you through those times that are so dark you cannot see.

Christina Graffagna // @cgraffagna

Hi! I’m Christina, and I’m currently 22 years old living in Chicago. I grew up right outside of Chicago, but recently graduated from the University of Alabama (Roll Tide), where I’ve been for the past four years. I am undeniably ill-equipped to be back in the snow after experiencing southern winters! While attempting not to turn into a popsicle, I’ll be working on my master’s degree in community counseling at Loyola University. My current plan is to become a Licensed Professional Counselor and work with adolescents in private therapy. I love connecting with people, learning their stories, and using the knowledge I have about human behavior coupled with the knowledge I have of Scripture to advise others and love them well.