"The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it..." John 1:5 as rephrased by Rev. Sharon R. Graff, Pastor, Gloria Dei Church, Huntingdon Valley, PA
The light has not overcome it. That is what this advent thing is all about. No matter how dark the night, it will not overcome the light as it comes. There will be the dawn. The light chases away the shadows of the night. It is the hope and the promise of this advent season.
I can remember lying in bed as a child in the cold, dark Michigan night. Snow had fallen during the day into the night. I would push back the curtains beside my bed to see if anything was happening outside. The windows were frosted in the freezing air. I could see the lights of the houses next door and across the street. The snow had hushed the sounds of our street and the main roads nearby. It was as if the entire world had been tucked in for the night on this Christmas night.
Then I heard it. Sleigh bells. I swear. I was old enough to be doubting the existence of Santa Claus, but young enough to still hope. And sleigh bells, I swear they were not far away. I rubbed the fog and frost from the window and peered out intently. I could not see anything. Just the sleeping neighborhood of modest houses. It was late. I was supposed to be asleep. But how could I sleep? There were sleighbells somewhere down the street.
Then I realized I should be asleep. If there was a Santa, he would not come if I were not fast asleep. "He knows if you are sleeping, he knows if you're awake." Not unlike God I remember thinking. So I scrunched down into the bed, and I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew it was morning. Visions of sugarplums may have danced in my head overnight, but all I recall is having heard those sleighbells in the snow.
All things are possible, if you believe. I imgaine the kings and the shepherds, Joseph and Mary, and all the angels of heaven believed and they, as I, made the journey through advent and welcomed the coming of Light. All tales have there basis in truth, even the myth of Santa and the story of the birth of Jesus.