By Dr. James S. Taylor
A new movie being released this last month of Advent is called, “The Darkest Hour”. The national release date? December 25, Christmas day.
This is not a mere coincidence. Producers and marketers of films always know what they are doing. It doesn’t matter that the film is about aliens disintegrating animals and human beings in Moscow, Russia, and elsewhere. The title of the film and the emphasized release date — “Christmaaas Daaay!” (as the deep voiced announcer proclaims), is enough to perceive the intent.
Am I judging the motives of the promoters of this film? Without hesitation. There’s no hidden conspiracy here. There was a time not too long ago that all non-Christians would avoid such an obvious collision of secular ideas and Christian beliefs from a general regard for Christian sensitivities as well as fear of backlash from the Church leadership. Today, no reaction. Singer-songwriter, Don McLean, prophetically wrote, in 1971 in “American Pie”:
… not a word was spoken,
The church bells all were broken.
The world again has preferred “the darkest hour”, rather than the Light that has come into the world. The release date of this movie on Christmas day, the world’s “finest day” from the Christian perspective, when the Son, second Person of the Trinity, enters the world, is a small indication of a deliberate plan to pit the traditional day of Light of, “He [who] was the Light, the true one, which enlightens every man coming into the world,” and the secular world’s anemic sense of irony. Now, like the image used by Winston Churchill for World War II, “the gathering storm”, now there is another force to reckon with that cares nothing for religion and has a particular hatred for Christianity. This force, gaining global energy, will eventually fail, of course; however, in its self-destruction it will do much damage before its end arrives.
Regardless, it would be a mistake to give too much publicity to the sad and angry people, the poor and weak who appear rich and powerful of the world and their works. We return to celebrating the Light. Even the darkness in which Christianity begins, is transformed into the blessed covering with stars as Mary hastens to the cave in the cold night outside Bethlehem — the hour of Light had come. Then, thirty-three years later, Christianity appears to end on a bitter, dark Friday afternoon on Golgotha. The day ends, dark as hell in another cave, the tomb where Jesus’ body is laid.
Yet again, the night is nothing to fear; it simply is the divine cradle of darkness that holds and comforts the Light of Christ that, first, conquers the Ancestral Sin by the Cross, then conquers Hades and Death, the last enemy, as He emerges in the early morning sun of the Resurrection.
So the time of Advent is not one of just waiting for the birth of the Savior of mankind, but for embracing within the fullness of the Promise of Genesis that all, in some way suited perfectly to them, must pass through the darkness of the Cross, to conquer Death itself. This is to live with the eternal Light that has come into the world, a light so healing that all the darkest hours of human failure will never again dim its mysterious brilliance.
This, and nothing else, is the Good News: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4 )