Saturday Symposium: Light Shining in Darkness

Hello readers. Merry Christmas! We’ve been enjoying some low-key days around our city with Lindsey’s parents. This year, our Twitter feed is full of people who have decided to marathon Harry Potter movies over the holidays. We’re still trying to decide the best ways to dance with a hippogriff.

Now it’s time for our weekly Saturday Symposium question:

How this works: It’s very simple. We ask a multi-part question related to a topic we’ve blogged about during the past week or are considering blogging about in the near future, and you, our readers, share your responses in the comments section. Feel free to be open, reflective, and vulnerable…and to challenge us. But as always, be mindful of the comment policy that ends each of our posts. Usually, we respond fairly quickly to each comment, but in order to give you time to think, come back, add more later if you want, and discuss with other readers, we will wait until after Monday to respond to comments on Saturday Symposium questions.

This week’s Saturday Symposium question: This year, we’ve noticed that many friends are struggling with hard things this Christmas season. Lindsey reflected yesterday about how observing Christmas can leave us longing for Christ’s Second Coming even as we remember his first coming. We’re curious to know: what do you do when you feel immense sadness during times of joyful celebration? How have you been able to gift others with ministries of presence? How have others been able to minister to you through their presence? How have you found light in the darkness? 

We look forward to reading your responses. If you’re concerned about having your comment publicly associated with your name, please consider using the Contact Us page to submit your comment. We can post it under a pseudonym (i.e. John says, “your comment”) or summarize your comment in our own words (i.e. One person observed…). Participating in this kind of public dialogue can be risky, and we want to do what we can to protect you even if that means we preserve your anonymity. Have a wonderful weekend!


Sarah and Lindsey

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4 thoughts on “Saturday Symposium: Light Shining in Darkness

  1. For me, reflecting on the Christmas story is helpful. Christ was born amidst oppression, chaos, an unexpected pregnancy, probable family disapproval, and suffering. For families, Christmas is often a bit like that too.

  2. I haven’t figured that one out yet. There were disappointments and points of tension with my family this holiday season that as of right now will not be resolved. (And ya crying on christmas day out of sadness is new)
    I hope that in the future i can steel myself against this sadness or even remove myself from the situation
    anyways, merry christmas to both of you and a happy new year

  3. Christmas time is always a drama filled messy affair in my immediate family. The last two years we decided jointly to intentionally invite guests to our traditional Christmas dinner rather than make it an exclusive family affair. This has added an unexpected nuance to our dinners in which the members of our family somehow get along better and our guests help us get our attention off our old patterns of behaviour. This was especially helpful this year as we had a few hardships come up. We got through it by focusing on the dinner knowing we had to step up because company was coming over. The rewards of having good food and good company made the difference this year for all of us. I guess what clicked was feeling gratitude for those people God provided for us who told hilarious stories and shared their time with us. We need each other in this dim world. I guess we just have to keep moving forward. I wish you both the blessing of friends and family and their continued loving presence in the New Year. 🙂

  4. Christmas was hard for me this year– beyond the usual “i don’t like holidays and people don’t understand/accept that i like to spend Christmas in solitude”. i got some news that relates to one of my abusers, and caught me off guard enough that i had some dramatic PTSD symptoms/behaviors through the weekend. i’m in a better place, emotionally/spiritually, now but Christmas Day was intense. It was strange to actually feel lonely over Christmas– it was an intense sense of “i am not safe here, i need someone with me but there is no one”, and that was unsettling. In those moments, i felt safest in those moments curled up in bed with lots of blankets, tea, my lion stuffed animal, and Netflix. i also texted a couple of close friends (whom i knew wouldn’t be bothered with it being Christmas) and then after the holiday, texted a few others in my support system. i have a hard time relating to the Incarnation (like, i intellectually get it and its appeal but can’t seem to connect with/feel the presence of an Incarnational God, and having grown up solidly evangelical, i still can’t shake the feeling i must be doing something wrong; anyway, i digress…) but i love the image of a God who became one of us to be with us. “Christmas” itself carries too much baggage for me but i’ve really come to connect the hope of the Incarnation (redemption and restoration) with New Year’s– this idea that we get to start over, that all things can be made new. So, i’m somehow able to have a lot of hope, even when Christmas is sucky and even when i’m not sure i like Christmas. 🙂

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