Holding Heaven by Ron DiCianni © 2018. Image used by Permission www.tapestryproductions.com Your browser does not support the audio element. O Nata Lux - Morten Lauridsen The Concordia Choir and Master Chorale / Michael Busch, conductor Out of Darkness, Light! (2018 Christmas Concert at Segerstrom Concert Hall) We usually do not think about light when it surrounds us. With ample light, we see clearly and notice what it illuminates, but we may not think of the light itself. We get used to it. That changes quickly if we spend some time in real darkness. Eyes strain to see without success. Stress and fears rise. We may feel threatened or begin to panic. Perhaps we have heard stories of miners or soccer players stranded deep underground and shudder. In deepest darkness, even the smallest light makes a difference. A wristwatch’s faint glow draws the eye. Even a dim light can shine like a beacon for miles, and a flashlight can be a lifesaver. Light wins over darkness every time. Look up into the night sky. The starlight you see has traveled through vast darkness for unfathomable miles to reach your eyes, and still we see its beauty. Light wins. Nowhere is this seen as gloriously as it is with Christ. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4–5) Where is light most needed? Where darkness prevails. So he shines. He shines on the darkness of sin. In his light we see sin in all of its ugly brokenness. Yet his light brings grace, revealing his sacrifice that gives forgiveness and life. He shines where there is despair, bringing strength and hope. He shines where there is loneliness, bringing himself and a connection to all others who belong to him. He shines in the darkness of grief, having mourned himself. He brings his own death and resurrection to give the light of the promise of life. We struggle with these and other effects of darkness. Even when the light shines on us, we may struggle. But the light wins. He illuminates us. We see better in his light. Even the greatest challenges are helped when he comes because we see them, and him, more clearly. Darkness is real and it would have us turn from the light, but it will not win. Jesus shines where he is needed: into darkness. On us. Darkness cannot overcome the light. Christ’s light wins. Every time.