I wonder what it must have been like, to be staring up at that dark night sky, tired or bored or contemplative or even laughing with companions, and to see that dark night sky suddenly broken open by an angel and the very glory of the Lord. I think about the angelâ€™s call, to not be afraid, and instead to hear this â€œnews of great joy.â€ Itâ€™s interesting, how the angel addressed first the fear and then the joy.
But I also think about the man whose story came first, burning incense alone in the temple, who caught the first wind of it all, before anyone else on earth knew joyâ€™s imminence. After a speechless year, he was only able to name his own son by writing it. Then, however, his voice was returned to him, and he prophesied about the â€œtender mercies of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven, to shine on those living in darknessâ€ (Luke 1:78-79).
Though, in 2020 as much as in any other time, we have lived in darkness, his mercies are no less tender now, and come as promised with the rising of the sun.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!