As many of us, from a wide variety of faiths and philosophies, celebrate this December, I offer my personal thoughts and beliefs, on this season of light. 

When I think about Christmas, I am struck by the mystery of God taking on human form to live in the world.  That the Creator would step away from His glory and humble Himself to become one of us, really moves me, especially these days. Setting aside all privilege and status, Jesus, the Light of the world, is born. 

How has this Light impacted me? What can I bring to my teaching as I reflect on this beautiful mystery?  I am reminded, and I need this reminding, to approach my work with humility, letting go of preconceived notions, judgement, and status. In some moments, at least, I am able to refocus and remember that I am here to serve those around me, to bring light and love where I can and in a way that honors the dignity of others.  

The Light, which illuminates my own darkness – the self-centered, consuming, mean, and distracted parts of me – offers me a better way.  It is bright path of compassion for my students, my colleagues, the world, and yes, even myself.  I am reminded to make the time to listen and care and set aside my endless scrolling. I am encouraged to sit with those who are suffering and stand with those who are fighting for their rights.  And, in this, I am reminded that I have much to learn and, thankfully, many people with whom to learn.  

Perhaps most of all, in pondering this Light of the World, I find myself grateful. Our world can seem so depressing and dark these days, and we have so much to do, but more than a glimmer of hope remains. I’m thankful that the Light of the world shines on, inviting us into the warm glow of His love.

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