“Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad before the Lord, for He comes.”
I don’t often speak of my faith. Not because I feel pressure not to, even in these times of “culture war” (and I really hate that phrase), but because I have a wide readership. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and most of my readers are not. I have no solid data, but I suspect a good percentage of my readers aren’t Christian and I don’t write my stories to convert anybody; I write because of the compulsion to share the products of my fevered brain with the world. (It also pays decently.) If I got overtly religious or preachy then I’d lose a lot of my readership, and deservedly so because the stories would be less fun.
But I’m sure it comes as no shock to most of my readers when I say that I’m Christian, and not simply by family tradition but by a deep-seated hope after much adult study and searching and wrestling with my convictions. I intentionally made Hope herself a hopeful believer, someone whose heart only reinforces the teachings of her childhood and who hopes for all mankind. Like Hope, I hope for us all. Hope and I trust not only in God but also our fellow man, and I hope that that shows too.
So Christmas, for me, is not only about the Lord of Heaven to earth come down; it is about us, as a human family preparing to meet the Lord of Heaven. The Christmas message is one of love, not judgement, of hope shining in the darkness of a broken world. It is hope that we, who are the Imago Dei, the image of God, can find that divine light of love inside ourselves. And, regardless of our particular beliefs, if we can find that light and not lose sight of it in all of the scramble and divisions and conflicts of our day-to-day lives, if we can see that light in others around us and remember that they too are the image of God, then maybe we have a chance.
So merry Christmas. I hope that, whatever is going on around you, you find the love in the story of this season and let it warm your heart. To quote from a different story altogether, “May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
(I will drop another post between Christmas and New Years.)