The days grow shorter and shorter. At supper’s end we turn on the lights, circles of brightness in the house. The decks are dark now, empty of flowerpots. Only the cacti receive illumination, light pooling outside the window. From the deck stars seem numberless. I watch as did the ancients, those who walked in darkness until they were given the light of hope. Those people believed in a promise, but I have been given the light made flesh. When I am surrounded by this deep darkness, I can better appreciate how precious the thought of light must have been. Without streetlights or electricity, without flashlights or lanterns, their nights were black and unrelenting. Shadows must have cast terrifying images against small fires that brought warmth and a ring of safety. We have been given a light that continues to shine through the ages, a light born in Bethlehem and raised from a borrowed grave. A light from Heaven returned to Heaven, a light that illuminates the past, present, and future. Oh Lord, especially at this time of year, I thank you for the Light—a light that shines on my path here and now and leads me to a glorious future. Amen.