Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Letter, 2014

Just before Halloween this year, we turned on our holiday porch lights. The days were getting shorter. Daylight Saving Time was about to end. The headlines during the week had been discouraging. We hoped that our lights might help to cheer up the neighborhood in a time that seemed very dark.

It was a purely symbolic act. Two strings of white lights could transform our porch, but they could not transform the world.

We turn the lights on every night now, and our porch looks very attractive in the dark. The world has not changed, but at least there is one more string of lights to challenge the darkness—literally, in a small way, and, in a much larger way, symbolically.

We are a species that creates symbols. We live by them. We die for them. They point toward realms of the spirit where mere words fail us. They sustain us through difficult times and enrich our lives when times are better.

In the darkest time of the year, we celebrate our holidays with light. This is no accident. Light symbolizes hope. With it, we can find a way forward.

Happy holidays, and may your light never fail.