Sunday Inspiration: How the Light Comes

the light comesWhile this lovely poem is a blessing meant for Christmas day, I think it’s wonderfully appropriate for the new year, too, and throughout the year. A friend posted it on Facebook and I loved it immediately.

How the Light Comes
A Blessing for Christmas Day

I cannot tell you
how the light comes.

What I know
is that it is more ancient
than imagining.

That it travels
across an astounding expanse
to reach us.

That it loves
searching out
what is hidden
what is lost
what is forgotten
or in peril
or in pain.

That it has a fondness
for the body
for finding its way
toward flesh
for tracing the edges
of form
for shining forth
through the eye,
the hand,
the heart.

I cannot tell you
how the light comes,
but that it does.
That it will.
That it works its way
into the deepest dark
that enfolds you,
though it may seem
long ages in coming
or arrive in a shape
you did not foresee.

And so
may we this day
turn ourselves toward it.
May we lift our faces
to let it find us.
May we bend our bodies
to follow the arc it makes.
May we open
and open more
and open still

to the blessed light
that comes.

—Jan Richardson

You’ll find this reading and so much more here at the Advent Door.

Jan, a United Methodist minister, has several websites in addition to the Advent Door: The Painted Prayerbook, Sanctuary of Women and Devotion Cafe. She generously shares her writing on the internet but asks that you link to the original source if you want to share with others.

May the new year bring light to each of us and to our world.


  1. Joan Leopold on January 6, 2019 at 7:26 am

    Thank you Emilie. That was a perfect poem to share. I needed that. Blessings, Joan

  2. Nancy Lepri on January 6, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Lovely! Thanks, Em. ?

  3. Charia Cleary on December 25, 2022 at 2:59 am

    Thank you for this…please add my email to your list of subscribers.

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