I love Margaret Silf, and I came across a quote the other day from her most recent book, A Book of Grace-Filled Days. Silf writes
A first-century philosopher observed: ‘When I light a candle at midnight, I say to the darkness: “I beg to differ.”’ As we light our Christmas candles, we, too, say to the darkness in our world and in our own hearts, ‘You have no final power over us, for the first and final word is eternal light.’
Wonderful words to reflect on.
The event that we just celebrated two days ago is not simply about birth. It is, rather, the beginning of God-with-us that proceeds through Death, Resurrection, Ascension and the Coming of the Spirit. It is about the coming into the human world of the Word, and, as the reading from John we heard proclaimed on Christmas Day put it so beautifully, “What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Our task, in this Christmas season and always, is to proclaim the reality of this light. To move through a world in which there is suffering, a world in which things sometimes look so very bleak, and say to the darkness (in the world and in our hearts), “I beg to differ. Victory has been won and you have no final power over us.”