If there was ever a time when we awaited light to be born in darkness, it is surely now. The darkness is all the more intense because most people don't recognise it for what it is. But those who do recognise it perceive that we live in a time of very great darkness.
For darkness read spiritual ignorance which results in spiritual evil. It would surprise many people to be told that now is a time of great evil. Are we not more enlightened than ever with our progressive attitudes of empathy and equality? Do we not care for others more? Have we not largely overcome cruelty and become more compassionate than our ancestors? This is all quite true. We do have more sympathy with the other than we used to, externally, at least, but ask yourself why this is. Could it be we have more feeling for material suffering because we are more materialistic? Nicolai Berdyaev seemed to imply this when he wrote as follows in his work The Destiny of Man from 1931.
"Modern civilised man cannot stand cruelty, suffering or pain, and he is more pitying than men of earlier times, not because he stands above them morally and spiritually. He has come to be more afraid of pain and suffering, has become softer and less courageous and fearless: he has less endurance. He has weakened, spiritually. This is the reverse side of the increase in sympathy and pity, the lessening of cruelty."
In other words, have we become more compassionate not because of an increase in spiritual understanding but a decrease? Have we so lost focus on the spiritual plane that all our attention is transferred to the material so that what seems as an advance is actually a grave loss? I would suggest that much of our modern empathy comes from our disconnect from higher levels of being. When our entire being is materially focused that sphere becomes the centre of our attention. It seems we are more compassionate but our compassion is really only directed towards the earthly man. Christmas is there to remind us of the spiritual man and to tell us that this little limited earthly self is by no means all there is to us. In fact, it is merely the projection of the soul in 3 dimensional space. It is not even our real self. It is part of the totality of our being and so of course it should not be neglected or denied. Its suffering should certainly be relieved as much as possible within the bounds of spiritual good. But Christ did not come to remove suffering. He came to sanctify it so that it could be the means of redemption, the way whereby the soul could be liberated from identification with the earthly self. The birth of spiritual light in material darkness, which is what Christmas is, should point us towards that deep truth. The light comes from beyond this world. There is nothing in this world that can save us or liberate us from the pain and suffering to be found here. It is only by following that spiritual light from beyond the darkness of matter that we can really find both ourselves and our freedom from suffering.
This is a time of great evil but we don't see it because we don't acknowledge spirit. We know and recognise material evil but we don't see how we have fallen into spiritual evil. Evil is what damages good. We see what damages material or earthly good while at the same time perpetuating the attitudes that damage spiritual good. We are guilty of great spiritual evil, perhaps more than any previous generation. The light in darkness that is Christmas should awaken us to that and bring us back to our spiritual senses.