During the darkest time of the year, light shines during Saint Lucia or Santa Lucia as she is called in Sweden!
Here in the mildly frozen land of Stockholm, our sky has alternated between gray, gray-er and gray-est for the past month and half.
The story of Lucia couldn’t come at a better time. The days of the 12th and the 13th of December were and are known to be the darkest of the entire year. Many dip a little bit into feeling sadder than usual, hibernating a little more than usual, with a fixation on preparing for Christmas. It seems that in this darkness, the welcome coziness of the lights, food, and friendship cannot come soon enough!
At Stockholm Life Church, along side of many other churches, we have been walking through Advent. You can read about our path through Hope and Peace that in the previous posts. We are lighting the Joy candle this next Sunday. With each passing Sunday, the reminder of another lit candle brings a greater understanding of what it is to see the light cut into the darkness.
Buckle up, this story gets dark, quick. Lucia was a girl who lived in the 4th century who refused to marry a man who didn’t recognize God as she did, to say the least. He was outraged and did terrible things to her for her choice to stay faithful to her faith. Her angry suitor (or herself) had her eyes cut out. Through all of this, her trial didn’t go away, and finally she died by sword. It’s said that her eyes were restored to her body miraculously at the funeral viewing.
Lucia, despite the difficulty she found herself in, continued in her faith. She trusted all the way, 100%.
The Joy in this story to remember is that Lucia’s name originates from the Latin idea of Lux which means ‘light’. She remained faithful to God despite her dire circumstance.
Sweden adopted the idea of a saint who was known for light as it relates so heavily to the scandinavian reality of dark days leading towards Winter Solstice.
Can we rewind a bit? Did we miss something? Is Santa Lucia just about kids dressing up and mysighet (coziness)?
Lucia, from its roots, is and will always be about faith in Jesus Christ. This is not new news, yet the heart of Lucia may be new to the culture we live in.
Because of Lucia’s faith, she was able to face the darkest of days – to her very death.
The gospel of John speaks of the powerful contrast between darkness and light.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
On Lucia Dagen (Lucia Day), would you stretch your realm of belief to include the possibility of even your own heart becoming as brave as Lucia’s? That you would trust God’s spirit to power you through the difficulty, the darkness? He promises even that you will never ever be alone when you trust that Jesus died for you, rose again, and asks you to trust as Lucia once did.
God Bless you and yours,
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