Its Christmas Eve. In a few hours Christmas Morning will dawn. The night is dark, in spite of a newly waning moon. The snow is deep and the world hushed.
In the shamans’ world, light does not forever vanquish darkness, and darkness cannot absolutely defeat light. Both light and darkness are necessary and good, each having its own time in the world, and the dominance of each holding the seed for the return of the other.
The Christmas story has been repeated through human history. The story goes like this: in a time of great hardship for the people, a baby is born. That child will grow up to teach the world a new path, and deliver the people from the clutches of evil and darkness. Sometimes the hero arrives in the form of twins. Often, perhaps, fearing change, or simply as an attempt to destroy the other, the rulers of the world kill many children, only to discover freedom and dignity, inevitably, still return.
So on this long December night, we look back across time and remember the children born on the Trail of Tears; on merchant ships, to Jews fleeing the pogroms of Eastern Europe; and to slaves, both African and Native American, whose parents yearned for freedom. We remember the children smuggled from the Warsaw ghetto; those born to First Nations women posing as whites to escape genocide; and those now living in refugee or resettlement camps all over the globe.We remember all children born to poverty, racism, and suffering, all of who offer hope to their people.
We are each, as Jesus said, the light of the world, a light rekindled by the children whose births remind us to have compassion in the present, and hope for the future. There will be other stories, for other nights. Tonight, this night, the Christian story touches people everywhere.