Christmas Lights

I love to look at Christmas lights. We visited my mother a couple weeks ago, and she took us to an incredible display about 40 minutes from her house. It took us a long time to get back to her house, too, because we slowed and stopped and turned in to see thousands of lights all along the way. Here at home, my three girls beg me to drive through a forest of lights in a community park on the way home from church. It’s almost as if we can’t miss an opportunity to see the lights all over again because we know – deep down inside – that the lights are only here for a short time.

But why the fascination with Christmas lights? I’ve often wondered if there wasn’t something deeper than the twinkles and colors. It’s almost as if my soul longs for more and more light. It’s no wonder. Because of sin, the human soul knows only darkness. Every race, gender, and culture are unified in that regard. We long for a flicker of hope – a light at the end of the tunnel.

In the midst of a dark and “silent” period, the Jews waited for the coming of their Messiah. Then, finally, came a light from a star twinkling over the Light – a baby boy. Jesus was God in the flesh, and “in him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn. 1:4-5). Finally, a light that will be with us forever, right? The brevity of Jesus’ time on earth is not unlike the brevity of our enjoyment of Christmas lights. It’s just too short.

Jesus ascended to heaven 2,000 years ago, but he said to his followers before he left, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Mt. 5:14,16). Christ’s light shines in us so that now we are the lights. We ought not to be stationary like Christmas lights, but we should be every bit as bright and beautiful as we go and shine in dark places.

The children’s song is an encouragement to us all that our light doesn’t have to be a certain color, style or shape. It simply needs to do what it was created to do – shine. “This little light of mine – I’m gonna let it shine…Won’t let Satan blow it out – I’m gonna let it shine…Let it shine ‘til Jesus comes – I’m gonna let it shine…let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

During the brief time we have to see the dazzling lights, let us not forget the True Light – Jesus Christ – who came into the world and now shines in his followers. Our life is also very short, so may our lights shine brightly for as long as we have or until Messiah returns to take us to our shining home with him.

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