How The Light Gets In

December is a notoriously busy time of year when we seek to make room for holiday preparations, family gatherings, work parties, and more. Some parts of that feel life-giving, while other parts of that can feel life-diminishing, especially when we encounter brokenness and wrestle with busyness.

What would it look like, in the midst of all this, to make room for the light of God? During a time when we are showing hospitality to friends and family, which often accentuates brokenness and accelerates busyness, how can we also show hospitality to the light of God’s presence and action? Leonard Cohen once said in his song “Anthem” that “there is a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.” What if the cracks that exist in our lives because of brokenness or because we are busy and have little margin are actually the way God intends to let in his light?

One way of reading the birth narratives in the Gospels is to see how each character let in the light of God by welcoming the arrival of the Messiah in the midst of unfavorable circumstances (the cracks). In challenging and sometimes surprising ways, we observe how Mary let in the light through receptivity, Joseph let in the light by taking responsibility, the Magi let in the light through curiosity, the Innkeeper let in the light through generosity, the shepherds let in the light through spontaneity, and Jewish leaders let in the light through celebration.

Each week, we will explore each biblical text through this lens of “letting in the light” and making room for the light of the Messiah in our own lives. In doing so, we’ll be tackling how we can practically let in God’s light, even in situations of brokenness and busyness, through similar attitudes and practices of receptivity, responsibility, curiosity, generosity, spontaneity, and celebration.