In John 8:12, Jesus calls himself “the light of the world.” This light shines into the darkest corners of our bleak midwinter existence and offers a glimmering of hope. It’s a light coming from an unexpected place.
I don’t believe it’s possible to imagine a Jesus who would not welcome refugees with open arms, who would not fight hatred with love, who would not understand that the “war on terror” — whether it flashes from the throne of Herod the Great or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — is fundamentally a war of ideas.
You can’t defeat ISIS with weapons, with boots on the ground, with carpet bombing or any vengeful threats. You overcome darkness with light, and this is not some vague, wishy-washy, “liberal” idea.
It’s the hard reality that Jesus taught us, over 2,000 years ago. And every year at Christmas, he comes to us as a child on the run with his impoverished and terrified parents. He knocks at the door of our house and our hearts. And we let him in — or we turn him away.