Let There Be Light

Let There Be Light

Nick Wolochatiuk

Light has always been an element in mankind’s story, including the Christmas account.

The void of darkness of the world was changed by the introduction of light. “And God said, ‘Let there be light’: and there was light. And God saw the light, and saw that it was good…” (Genesis 1: 3 &4). Jumping ahead an eon or so, we see, as usual, it was us who just don’t get it: “And the light shone in the darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:5) They didn’t grasp the significance of the light that came to Bethlehem, nor do we really comprehend our annual ritual re-enactment of light of Christmas.

The light of Christmas is the light of hope. To me, light has always meant hope, faith and trust. I remember the light of a bicycling trip I once took with my then 13-year-old son Kris. (Now, both of us are 33 years older) We were quite far behind schedule in getting home from Vermont. We were still in rural Cantons de l’Est de Quebec. Darkness and rain were beginning to fall, so I decided we’d have to put up somewhere for the night.

There was a solitary light in the distant darkness, so I said, “Let’s go” to my exhausted son.

“To where?” he sighed. A weary and exhausted Mary might have said the same thing to Joseph as they trudged toward Bethlehem, passing inn after inn with NO VACANCY signs.

“Somewhere down this road” I replied, knowing that he could see nothing but darkness. His trust in me was failing. However, my trust in providence was not in vain. The solitary light of an isolated farmhouse appeared. Drawn by it, we trudged ahead, just as the Magi followed that mysterious heavenly light that drew them toward Bethlehem (Matthew 2:9).

“Would you have a place where we could pitch our tent for the night?” I asked the rather surprised woman at the door. Who would expect two cyclists to appear out of the dark of a rainy night? She disappeared, but soon returned with her husband. 

They gazed at us, then said “No…” (Was this to be an almost 2000 year later repetition of the Bethlehem inn-keeper’s ‘no’?) “No…, but there’s a little shed out back where you are welcome to take shelter.” 

“No, but you can use the stable”, said the inn-keeper long ago. Before we could get set up in the shed, the wife entered, saying, “We’ve just finished renovating our living room. You’re welcome to sleep on the sofas that are in the porch.”

As soon as Kris’s sleeping bag was unrolled, he was in it, fast asleep, his faith in me restored. Then, another invitation came. “Would you like to join us for a coffee?” My faith in Him and His people was once again strengthened. Their light had been a beacon of hope for us.

Every day every year, especially at Christmas time, we have a duty to be the light, to be the givers of hope, the providers of room in the inn to those in need.  

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