12/22/2019—Timothy Egan wrote a column for yesterday’s New York Times entitled, There is Light in this Dark Season.
I thought the column was about Advent. It wasn’t. It was about secular acts, including politics. They were things that did not speak light to me.
It is always dark at this season. Dark for the short days—-in the Northern Hemisphere—-and dark because we live in a fallen world of violence and lies. Always.
That is the beauty, grace and hope of the Christian story. That is the light in this dark season. Jesus is always being born. A savior.
But, you may say, I don’t believe in Christ. I like the teachings of Jesus, but that’s all. Today, Nicholas Kristof answers, it doesn’t matter if you are a Christian. It matters if you are a follower of Jesus.
This is not a dumbed down message for a secular age. It was more or less the same message Karl Barth gave in 1911 to a labor union:
“If you understand the connection between the person of Jesus and your socialist convictions, and if you want to arrange your life so that it corresponds to this connection, then that does not at all mean you have to ‘believe’ or accept this, that, or the other thing. What Jesus has to bring to us are not ideas, but a way of life. …And as an atheist, a materialist, and a Darwinist, one can be a genuine follower and disciple of Jesus.”