Movies don’t always end as the credits start to roll. With series such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe the credits contain extra scenes with important clues as to what will happen next. Who can forget the menace at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron? Part way through the credits, the evil Thanos appears and declares that he will collect the Infinity Stones and gain ultimate power over the universe. A dark shadow suddenly falls over the happy ending we’ve just watched.
And so it is with the Christmas story. With Jesus safely born and the stable filled with angels, shepherds, and wise men we walk away and let the credits roll. But watch just a little while longer and the story takes a darker turn. Feeling threatened King Herod orders the slaughter of every boy in Bethlehem under the age of two. Our cosy nativity scene is suddenly disrupted with brutality and grief as Mary and Joseph flee for their lives.
The whole Christmas story reminds us that Jesus didn’t come as a light to shine in the lightness but as a light to shine in the darkness. Darkness touches all our lives one way or another. The good news is that if we turn to Jesus his light will overcome it.