It really doesn't matter how much of a realist, pragmatist or even a cynic a person may have become; there yet remains in even the hardest hearts some small spark that wants to believe in Christmas.
If there is one word that can best describe the essential nature of that spark I’d have to say it is hope.
After all the trappings of Christmas are stripped away what remains is hope. Of all the stories of miracles and magic, all the traditions are forgotten, what remains is a spark of hope that refuses to be extinguished.
We may have lost our childish illusions, but we still yearn for all that they represent. It wouldn’t be difficult to find atheists in every holiday choir pouring their hearts out in songs that repeat the miracle story of Christmas. They will be quick to explain that its the music itself they love, not its message and yet the performance itself lifts up there heart and rekindles the flame of hope if only for the duration of the performance. Perhaps hope is all we have to consider is what we hear and see on the evening news.
When hope no longer exists we have foreclosed on the future in doing so.
We have stolen something from our children that is irreplaceable.
But at Christmas we lift up again the new born child and what better symbol of hope can we have except a new born child? What better way can we find to give expression to our age old hope than in voices lifted up in unison to sing once more of he whose message is one of hope.
In this ebb tide of the year in the darkness of this season when the earth lies fallen we yet proclaim our hope that light will overcome the darkness and the world will embrace the light.