Beneath the tinsel and lights of the Christmas we create for ourselves it is easy to forget that the Nativity characters were all living in a shadowy world of violence and oppression. They yearned for personal, social, and spiritual liberation and peace. They were waiting and praying in “the shadowy places where God works to bring about something utterly new.” (Mary Marrocco)
No amount of Christmas glitter will eliminate the shadowy places in the world and in our hearts. Only God entering into the shadows with the light of mercy will dispel the darkness. May we be ready to receive God’s light when and where it comes, and not be blinded by the false hope of self-created lights that are contrary to peace on earth. Like the Nativity characters, we can pray in the shadows and anticipate the light.