Where do I turn to when there's no choice to make?
And how do I presume when there's so much at stake?
I was so sure of it all - Marcus Mumford
Perhaps more than most days of the year, today is a day when many of us come face to face with the fact that what we believe to be true--what we desire above all---doesn't mesh with that we are seeing around us.
It's called "cognitive dissonance"--the feeling that you get when what you are experiencing is exactly opposite to what you believed to be true.
For some of us, the feeling is a mere shiver of uneasiness, but for others, it's a full-on, constant shudder that doesn't want to go away. We know the world isn't as it should be. Not by a long shot.
And there are not enough cute animal videos on Facebook to make it any better.
So, we retreat into our traditions... our gatherings... our exchanging of gifts. We may even decide to shutter our windows to what's happening "out there," or even within us, for that matter. Because for many of us the world that isn't right is our own.
But tonight.... tonight we have the chance to push the uneasiness and trouble aside and do something powerful.
Tonight, many of us will gather in places of worship, and we will light candles and sing songs. We'll hush the squirming, excited children sitting next to us as they tug at the itchy sweaters constricting their joy.
And we'll tell the story. We'll tell the story of how God became one of us in order to rescue all of us.
As we tell this story again, we'll also begin to realize something if we are brave enough: We'll realize that the gift of God's presence that we long for and anticipate is one that we've already been given.
You see, Jesus has been here and will always be here--reminding us that the different world we long to see is illuminated more clearly when we light what candles we have, and the darkness retreats once again.
Because that's what darkness does when the light shines. It retreats.
May it be so for you today and every day.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.