Celebrating the Season
Many years ago, a friend took me caving outside of Barstow. Wearing elbow and knee pads, gloves, helmets and headlamps, we crawled down lava tubes down into a cavern and sat down. We turned off our headlamps and sat quietly in the darkness. My friend explained that in the absence of visible light, our eyes were building up visual purple in an attempt to see in the darkness. After several minutes, he struck a match. The single flame lit the entire space, allowing us to see each other and the details of the cave quite clearly.
Normally, a single match doesn’t seem bright; yet in that moment, it was bright enough to push back the darkness and illuminate our world, even for just a few seconds.
I think about that moment in the cave every Christmas. In church, when we read from the Bible that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it,” I am immediately drawn to that moment and the way light from a single match shattered the darkness of the cave.
We have had a few strange months filled with hurricanes, earthquakes, and mass-shootings. We find ourselves surrounded by growing anger and violence. It feels like darkness is all around us and drawing near. Despite the darkness, as we remember Christ’s birth, we are reminded that the light still shines and that the darkness of our world cannot overcome it. Christmas becomes our moment to actively seek out that light of Christ and collectively push back against the darkness. Christmas becomes a call to action, a call to love, and a call to shine.
At Valencia United Methodist Church, through the month of December, we will seek the light of Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love. Regular worship hours are on Sundays at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sunday, December 17, worship will feature an original Advent Musical “Just Us.” On Christmas Eve, December 24, we will worship at 10 a.m., 5 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; 9 p.m.; and 11 p.m.. We invite you to join us, whether you are searching for the light or simply need a reminder to shine the light of Christ in our world.
For more information, please call Valencia United Methodist Church at 661-255-1301, and visit www.umcv.org, #hereforgood.
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