I sit with a cup of coffee between my hands before the rest of the house wakes, and I gaze at the glowing Christmas tree.

For a while, I search for favorite ornaments and think back to our girls’ faces when they spied angels and stars they’d made in years past.

Then my eyes look beyond the white light and ornaments into the middle of the tree where it is only dimly lit.

Like the morning outside our door.

I think of those who waited in near darkness and half-spent longing — over hundreds of years — for their Savior.

I think of those who still wait for saving.

Haggard and weary, eyes straining to see light.

The Light shines, and the Light — it still comes to drive away darkness.

I pause and feel the calm of Light’s glow. I breathe deep.

And then, out of Light’s still, longings stir.

For more.

More peace. More satisfaction. More time in a day. More sleep. More joy in this season. I feel the dark of not-enough. I hunger.

Then as I look into strands woven through fir branches, it’s as if light multiplies. Pearls strung one after another with their Promise of hope, a future, peace.

Mingled with lack longings, Light dawns.

Light comes to my eye-straining dark. Again and again. Draws me up with its silent, holy love presence.

The more I look into the Light, the more I see the Light.

This Light of life birthed in pain under stars. Soft baby skin wrapped in rags. Word made flesh among us.

Light dawning again in places where light trickles dim.

The Emanuel light, God with us, has come.

The light is here.

Again and again.

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