I grew up in Columbus, Georgia which is the home of the largest infantry center in the world: Fort Benning. And as a little boy I remember a few things about the Second World War. I remember the soldier boys that would come to our church from far away places. They would be with us a while and then they would leave and many would go off to the war. Some would not come back. It was a scary time. Over 60 million people died in the Second World War. But one day the fighting ended and the boys came home. One of the great songs of that homecoming was: “When the lights came on again all over the world…”
I keep thinking of that song as the war rages in Iraq and Afghanistan. Christmas is a hopeful season. We celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace. And we read the old words like: “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light…” We turn to John’s promise: “The light has come into the world and the darkness cannot put it out…” Christmas reminds us that the lights really are coming on again all over the world.
One of my favorite scriptures comes from that Thanksgiving Psalm 116: “For thou hast delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling…” We all need a delivering. If we hang on to this promise—who knows we might just make it through whatever it is that the world throws our way. The light really has come and no darkness anywhere can put out. Light a candle. Sit in the darkness before the twinkling lights of your tree. And remember. Remember. God is with us all. And that will be enough.