Where I live, January is usually the coldest and darkest month of the year. Some people love winter, but most of us just endure it and wait for spring. After weeks of Christmas celebrations, we put away our shiny decorations and feel like we’ve “comforted and joyed” ourselves out. Sometimes it seems like, come January, we take the joy of remembering that Jesus came into the world and we stuff it into the same storage bin as our Christmas lights.
John records in his gospel (Chapter 8 verse 6) that Jesus says: “I am the Light of the World.” I think we sometimes undervalue the power of that statement. Our world is filled with a pervasive darkness that permeates every part of human existence. The answer to that darkness is not bound by our finite humanity, cannot be erased by tragedy or circumstance, and is not diminished with time. People in this world need that answer. Jesus didn’t just bring light, Jesus is the Light! He is enough to drive away the darkness in every heart, in the whole world, for all eternity!
We cannot pack the Light of Jesus into a box, or put our joy at His coming on a shelf to pull out when it’s convenient. If we don’t share “The Light,” in the darkest moments, then who will? Maybe you feel like your light is a little candle lost in a world of chaos. But the ‘Living Light,’ that dwells in you and I, is no ordinary candle. Together, we can light the night!
There are few places in the world right now colder or darker than the country of Ukraine. This is true emotionally, spiritually, and physically. They are still experiencing the violence, fear, and loss that dominate life during the war. But now there is an alarming new crisis. It’s winter, it’s cold, and they are experiencing widespread utility collapse. They are without reliable natural gas, electricity, and water. One partner shared that they feel like they are living in the dark ages.
Thanks to faithful donors like you, we have already saved lives! You have provided generators, woodstoves, and firewood for churches and for individuals in their homes. But there are so many people that still urgently need help this winter.
As you find refuge in your warm home this winter, remember those who don’t have warmth in their home. Remember those whose basic needs are not being met. Keep the Light and Hope of Jesus on display this year. Shine it brightly for all to see and together, we will light the long night for people in Ukraine.
In Love and Grace,