My eyes are craving the light.

We have passed the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, and I feel that night in my bones. It seems like the darkness this year is a palpable thing, a beast stalking us all to devour. Maybe it’s always been this way, maybe it’s just this year. The darkness has been thick though, and I am hungry for the light to break in.

The darkness and the silence of Advent follows me into this Christmas season. God still seems dark, and his voice silent, even as the incarnation intertwined the light of the world with humanity. I am still waiting. I am still hoping. I am still haunted by the silence and darkness still stalks me.

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I’ve been thinking about my sister Mary, the mother of God. I’ve been thinking about how the 400 year silence of God must have haunted her and how her eyes craved the light of revelation without even knowing it. Mary was born into the darkness, just like we are. Yet her darkness was thicker, more visceral than ours because hope had not yet come. She was born in not just a season of silence, but into life that was wrapped up in the long silence of God.

She was a righteous girl, and as such longed to see the hope of salvation made real. She longed for the light, for the days when God would speak again and his people would hear. She craved the light in ways we don’t understand fully simply because we don’t know what it is to be in a world without the incarnation.

Sister Mary the mother of God was hungry for light.

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I think I’m straining towards Epiphany. Not that I’m trying to rush through the twelve days of Christmas, but I am reaching for a time when I get to be reminded that Jesus was revealed to the nations, to the gentiles, to me. I need to be reminded that Jesus is for me, not just a generic gift to the whole world.

That sounds wrong, but it is how I feel. Christmas get to be a time when we celebrate god’s gift, but it’s a gift to everyone. And as much as I am for all women, men, and children receiving the peace of God, sometimes I need to be given the incarnation in a special way, to know that the good news of peace to humanity is given to me specifically. I need to know that the joy to the world is joy unto my soul.

My soul is craving light.

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I wonder what Mary thought when the shepherds showed up.

They were telling stories about angel armies singing songs of peace, about glory unveiled in the heavens, and about how all of it told them to come find baby Jesus. The lowest class, smelling of sheep shit and sweat, showing up to praise her baby, her light in the darkness.

She hid these things in her heart, storing up the voice of God in her chest, the chest from which she nursed the incarnation of God. Was this her Epiphany? Was this her light breaking in the darkness? Was this her hearing the voice of God after the long silence?

I like to think I can follow her example and receive what my eyes and my heart are craving: the light of the world spoken to me.