This year throughout our Christmas celebrations we will be drawing on this phrase ‘Let the Light of Christ break into every crack and crevice of my heart’, reflecting on how this grows in the every day ordinary parts of our year. Jesus is never just for Christmas! He has relevance during the whole of our year. Nearly two years ago Amanda Gorman delivered an incredible spoken word poem at the US President Joe Biden’s inauguration called ‘The Hill we Climb‘. The last words she delivered were:
‘When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.’
These are such beautiful heartfelt words shooting out into a world that is ablaze with anxiety, uncertainty, violence and bleeding out hope. When I heard them nearly two years ago, I was touched by their determined activism and hope. Yet, I felt so much pressure, I am many things, but I am not brave. I am not brave enough to be the light any new dawn. I fail. I get things wrong. I cause hurt without meaning to and I add to the ways things don’t always work so well. I, by my own blindness am part of the problem. I need forgiveness every day of my life, everyday.
At the beginning of Advent Lectio365 coined the phrase ‘Let the Light of Christ break into every crack and crevice of my heart this Christmas’. Our home group leader highlighted this in our whats app group, and it immediately brought back to my mind ‘The Hill we climb’ spoken word and that line that had got under my skin ‘light..if only we’re brave enough to be it’. Joining the beauty of the language detailed ‘In the Hill we climb’ with the wonder of the hope of Jesus Christ breaking into the places I am not brave, the places I fail, the places I cause hurt, made me discover a new bravery, a partnership of courage that I do not have to be the light of kindness, goodness, gentleness, love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness and self control on my own. I can find that in partnership with the Living God, in partnership with Jesus the human God, the liberator who comes into the places where I reach the end of myself and transforms my fear, and gives me forgiveness. I so want to step out of shade, aflame and unafraid and there are moments in my life when my faith enables me to do that.
So as we begin again to light candles, sing Christmas songs, prepare food, as we consider our energy bills, and the current strikes and the continued time of uncertainty that we are in. May we know Emmanuel (God with us), may we know that the God that may often seem so very far away, is in fact right here, right now beside us in the person of the resurrected Christ.
Come to the table, all are welcome.