I drove home on what turned out to be the shortest day of the year. As I woke up this morning at 7 to drive to a Christmas celebration, I was amazed at how dark it was. Surely it can’t be 7:00! A quick check of my cell phone and my computer showed that it was, in fact, time for me to get up.
There are places in the world where this phenomena is carried to extremes. Places in Alaska are sometimes called the “Land of the Midnight Sun” because six months of the year they are bathed in constant sunlight (though not warm, from what I hear), and six months if the year they are in complete darkness. Apocryphally, people say suicide rates are higher during the prolonged darkness than they are at other times of the year.
Sometimes we hardly notice the changing of daylight, except in huge increments, but every now and then we notice – if only for a moment – that the night is just a bit darker than it used to be.
It’s interesting that in this season of darkness, we are greeted with the arrival of the light of the world. John, speaking of Jesus, writes that, “The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. … The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was going to come into the world.”
We now wait with anticipation the Birth of Christ into this dark night. The Savior of the world is coming into the world, bringing hope and light where we have only darkness.