Christmas is that time of year that reminds me to be thankful. Everyone seems to have an extra bounce in their step and a happy word on their lips. It warms my heart.
Perhaps, though, my favorite thing about Christmas is the Christmas lights. I remember driving around with my aunt and my mom looking at the lights on the houses. All the different colors and different scenes filled me with wonder and joy just looking at them. And they still do.
Remembering this makes me to consider the very first Christmas lights.
I wonder how bright the Bethlehem star was that night. I wonder if it gave as much light as a full moon or if it was just the brightest star in the sky. I wonder if the shepherds noticed it. Somehow I doubt it. After all, they had their own Christmas lights to look at.
"And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of heavenly hosts praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"
How bright do you suppose a "multitude of heavenly hosts" are? I'm guessing brighter than the noon day sun. They were bright enough the shepherds couldn't look at them but could see the glory of heaven penetrating their closed eye lids. It must have been wondrous to suddenly have the utter darkness split in two by the angels of God bringing the most joyous news mankind has ever heard. Christmas lights remind me, on a much smaller scale, of that.
The glow of brilliant colors dispelling the darkness also reminds me of the ultimate Light that came to us in the form of an infant. Emmanuel, God with Us. All those little lights coming together to make a bigger picture makes my heart sing of grace and hope. And what a joyous song it is!
"In [Jesus] was life and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
That small child wrapped in pieces of cloth, lying in an animal's food trough reminds me of a single Christmas light. So tiny, seemingly so insignificant. But put this Child together with the fact that He is God and He becomes the bigger picture. He becomes millions upon millions of hearts that His life has changed. He becomes the very picture of salvation. And all of our little lights combine to illuminate a very dark world.
This Christmas let's remember that, for those who belong to Christ, this season is about Hope and Grace. The ultimate gift of Love given to us by a loving Father who wants nothing more than a relationship with us. Let the Christmas lights we see remind us of the Light that shines in the darkness. Let it also remind us to shine that Light everywhere we go!
~ Merry Christmas! ~