Facing the darkness

For years I’ve heard that suicides spike during the holidays. It turns out that’s not true. Suicides are actually lower this time of year, yet news outlets recycle the myth that because people are under stress, miss loved ones, etc., they take their lives in greater numbers. No.

It turns out the opposite may be true; the season offers hope and support that are lacking at other times. People care and give and volunteer more during the holidays.

But we still need to “face the darkness.” So says Anglican priest and author Tish Harrison Warren in her excellent op-ed in the New York Times last week. The world really is a dark and broken place and only God can fix it. It’s why Jesus had to come.

So Christians observe this season called Advent where we prepare for the coming of the Savior. In Advent, we avoid jumping straight to the celebration; we linger in the darkness for a while. We take stock of what’s wrong with us, and what it cost Jesus to save us.

And when we celebrate, and we certainly do, we remember that Jesus not only faced the darkness, he went into the ultimate darkness.

Jesus allowed his life to be taken so we can live in hope.

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