Maybe it’s been a long year.
Perhaps you’ve slogged through, begging for relief.
The days have passed slowly in the minute-by-minute until you suddenly blink and wonder where they’ve gone.
The dark nights have lingered endlessly.
You’re surviving, clinging to the last shred of hope that it won’t always be this way.
Today marks the Winter Solstice.
The shortest day.
The darkest day.
The day that gives way to a little more light each day.
The first day of Winter.
I’m reminded of the C.S. Lewis quote in The Chronicles of Narnia when Mr. Tumnus explains the effects of the White Witch’s icy reign:
“Always winter and never Christmas.
And I wonder if, in the days before the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary experienced a season of winter in their hearts, minds, and spirits.
As they trekked from Nazareth to Bethlehem, were they not only physically tired, but also mentally, emotionally, spiritually weary from the journey they’d been on since the angel came to Mary with news of the impending birth?
Could they see the light at the end of the tunnel clearly or was their vision clouded with uncertainty?
Did they know Christmas—the true essence of Christmas—the Light of the World in the form of a baby—was just ahead?
Perhaps in the the cold grip of unsettling circumstances, you are wandering through the night, waiting, wondering, hoping for relief from the burden tucked inside you.
Little by little, dawn is breaking.
Christmas is coming.
The Light is on its way.