The Meaning of Christmas: A Promise of Light in the Darkness

Christmas Manger scene with figurines including Jesus, Mary, Joseph and sheep. Focus on mother!
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Father Constantine Lazarakis of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons shares his insights on the meaning of Christmas today.

The Meaning of Christmas

As the “Season of Light” is upon us, the trappings of Christmas are all around. The streets strung with Christmas lights and the carols heard at every corner cause us to yearn for levity and joy. And yet, this season our yearning for the joy of Christmas is contested. Contested by everything from economic difficulties, to divisive political discourse, to war between our brothers and sisters in Ukraine and Russia, to the lingering effects of the pandemic — while we long to be merry and bright, there is the weight of all we have been through and all we face. But we must not allow the difficulty of the world to outweigh the joy of God’s fulfilled promise! The promise that light will overcome the darkness, the promise of the Lord who “brings good tidings” and “heals the broken-hearted!”

This season, when the darkness begins to wane and the hours of daylight grow longer, is the moment upon which we must seize! Christmas allows us to find hope amidst difficulty, gives us strength to endure and offers a joy that is not dependent upon the fluctuations of markets, is not tethered to the news of the day, not defeated by cruelty. Just as Christ was born during tumultuous times, so God is with us now, in our own difficult times. His birth brings light to darkness, peace in conflict, clarity amidst confusion and guidance to the lost.

Rather than shrinking to the materialism and anxiety of the holiday season, let it be about gathering our families and loved ones in the truth of the season; that we are not alone. Let us share the light, the unconditional love, the spirit of reconciliation that all spring from the real reason for the season. The certainty that we are not alone, the certainty that God is with us.

To learn more about the Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons and their Christmas service, visit dormitionhamptons.org.

Father Constantine Lazarakis
Father Constantine Lazarakis

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