by Rev. Anna Burch, Minister to Children, Greenwood First Baptist Church

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness shall not overcome it.” John 1:1-5

This Christmas, I find myself so drawn to the lights. I am loving my tree and candles in the windows. They are calming and peaceful.  I’ve been transfixed. I’ve found myself wondering in past days why I find myself so drawn to the lights this year?

I hope it has not been the case for you, but it’s been a tough year for me. Both my maternal grandparents and cousin died. I am so saddened, frustrated, and disheartened by the strife, anger, injustices, and division within our country. I am just entering my second year of ministry, which means I’ve been hitting those first bumps with church members and navigating my way through dealing with them as well as continuing to develop my own  view of myself as a minister. It’s been a pretty trying year.

Maybe this is why I am craving the lights of the Christmas decorations this year? I need that peace. I need that hope. I need that reminder that the light shines in the darkness. I need that reminder that God drew near to us as a tiny, unexpected baby 2,000 years ago. Maybe I am intrigued with the lights this year because I need that visual reminder that God draws close to us still today? That God is still shining in the darkness and that darkness will not overcome.


I am a fan of Richard Rohr’s meditations, in which he ends with a ‘Gateway to silence’. I’ve included one so that you might spend some time this Advent season in stillness and silence.


Gateway to silence: The light shines in the darkness.