We often celebrate beginnings with lights. During Advent, the beginning of the liturgical year, we have the Advent wreath; at Christmas, the tree lights; for New Year’s, fireworks. As we begin this new year and new decade, we look to the light of Christ to illumine our way, to give clarity to our discernment and conviction to our actions.
During this time of year, as the daylight slowly grows longer, I find myself attracted to making photographs in the evenings, at the point where day meets night, relishing the fact that daylight is beginning to get the upper hand.
Sunlight is particularly attractive around its rising and its setting. The low angle of light casts its golden glow on everything it touches. The brief period just before sunrise and just after sunset is called the blue hour, for the beautiful blue quality the light takes on when the sun is just out of sight.
As we contemplate the light that Christ brought into the world, we might reflect on the quality of that light. How does it influence the way we look at the world around us? How does it affect the way we see other people? Does the light of Christ make us more grateful and graceful, more attuned to the human condition, more inspired to reach out in a loving way? Do we with some frequency take time simply to bask in Christ’s light? Perhaps in the new year? We can always begin anew.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5)