We hold our breath. We close our eyes and listen. Our hearts strain and lean in.

We taste it, salty between our teeth. We feel the shadows deepen all around us. The chill wants to chase down our necks and into our spines, then freeze our hearts with fear.

But on such a dark night, in such a lost village, came the Emmanuel. A star shone over a weary world. Under the hand of a cruel tyrant, a crushed people looked up and saw light. They gasped in hope and looked up into the light.

We hold this light, this hope, in our hands. While this world creaks and groans, we know a new creation is coming.

The glory of the Lord is the Light within our messy midst.

The Light shines brighter in the night because of the deep darkness.

Hope, in our deepest moments of despair, becomes tangible.

Light, when grief has enveloped us and ripped our breath away — well, this Light carries us.

Emmanuel, God is with us.

But this Light is not waiting to till morning.

This Light is not holding out till we become perfect.

This Light is with us before we awake in His likeness.

This Light!
This is hope.

This is the Light that conquers darkness.

This is love that overcomes hate.

His name is Emmanuel.

God with us.