Go from another retelling of this familiar, beloved story
with its familiar cast of characters,
all gathered around the baby in the manger.
Go from this story into your own.
Go from the warmth and beauty
of sanctuary and fellowship
into the chill of a dark winter’s night—
snow falling wet and heavy.
Go with your eyes fully open
to the horrors to be found in the darkness—
those you have yourself experienced
and those you’ve heard about—read about.
But go with ever more hope than fear—
more joy and anticipation than dread
for God is in deed, with us.
So go from here into the darkness—
not afraid of the dark,
but not so enamored with the light
that you forget it shines in the darkness—
that those who keep watch through the night
might still marvel,
and angels still sing,
and the wise yet seek
as the story unfolds