All things came into being through him, and without him, not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

On this Christmas Day, Christians across the nation and around the world celebrate the arrival of the baby Jesus in the most humble circumstances possible. The “light of all people” was born in a barn and laid in a feeding trough in as plain and unpretentious an event as any in history. There could be no lies or deception in such a place — no covering up the stink of animals or the chill of the night in the Judean Mountains. There was only the plain truth.

Jesus would later state that he himself was “the Truth” and also that “the Truth will set you free.” The light shining in the darkness — “the true light, which enlightens everyone,” as St. John put it — is something the world needs because the belief in Christ is also a belief many non-Christians share: that ultimately truth will prevail.

Truth often hurts — one reason so many reject it, even in Jesus’s time and even to his face. But the truth can also heal. Usually, healing cannot take place without it.

Today, the nation finds itself in some very truth-challenged times. Materialist ideologies have acquired positions of power and influence and, in some cases, strayed about as far as one can get from the truth.

In the name of anti-racism, they have embraced racism wholeheartedly and attempted to indoctrinate children that they live in a supposedly irredeemable country where salvation comes from being born into the right victim class. They now seek to judge people solely by the color of their skin, in direct contravention of that famous Christian minister’s hopes that everyone would be judged by the content of their character.

In the name of climate alarmism, they now seek to lower living standards for the world’s poorest.

In the name of equality, they are paradoxically trying to erase permanently what it means to be a woman. They embrace gender ideologies that equate effeminate affectations with or even elevate them above biological womanhood.

Jesus, born of a woman and believed by Christians to be the true God and true man, has always been something of a villain to those actively running from or covering up the truth. He has to be that — this cannot come as a surprise, not to anyone who has read his words.

“In this world, you will have trouble,” Jesus said as the time of his execution approached. “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Indeed, how could the light shine in the darkness if there were not so much darkness in which to shine?