Light Up the Goodly Night

Hundreds of local houses remain decorated for Christmas this year, long after the traditional end point of the Christmas Season, February 2, the Feast of Candlemass. What an unexpected delight!

Is it the same all over the nation, I wonder? Are thousands of small towns and big city neighborhoods still filled with Christmas lights on porches and rooftrees, on bushes and evergreens? 

This extended season of light seems to be the expression of simple goodness and fellow feeling. As if these people are saying: we have been harmed deeply in our national life, we have been gravely abandoned by our pastors, there are few public voices we can trust. But we will let the beauty of our lights shine longer this year. It was right to make our houses full of light to delight our families and our neighbors for the coming of Christmas. Let’s just keep that gift alive awhile longer, until Spring comes to clothe us all anew.

Where do such things come from? Not from a political statement; not from an organized movement. This is the human spirit rejoicing in the midst of darkness.

The lights are not universal, nor need they be.  If some rejoice, others may be inspired to moments of joy. Such small decisions are what culture means, what culture is. Of course, culture flows from deeper springs of faith in God, but it bursts forth in the most quirky ways. It is not created by Hallmark, nor fostered by an elite. When ordinary people have been blessed with the funds to buy lights and the freedom to turn on the switch—such things happen.

The Spirit of the Lord moves in mysterious and unexpected ways. God Bless us all and God Bless America.