To get you into the mood of this post, watch the video below. Several times if necessary. Turn your speakers up and get ready! Then, once you catch your breath, read on...
For the last two weeks, our pastor, PB, has been sharing a series called "True Christmas." Last week, he talked about light, linking it to the lights we use to decorate our Christmas trees and the outside of our homes.
Because the teacher in me is screaming to do so, I have to give you some history on lights. Pay attention! There will be a quiz at the end of this post! (Disclaimer/Credits: Though some of this is from PB's message, I am getting most of my history from that wonderful book I told you about before, The ADVENTure of Christmas.)
- As the story goes, Professor Martin Luther was walking thru the forest one December night in the early 1500's. He saw stars twinkling with unusual brighness against the inky sky. In fact, when he walked under the branches of the evergreens, it seemed to him as if miniature stars were dancing in the trees all around him.
- Luther felt an unexpected wave of worship overcome him. He was overwhelmed by the awesome beauty of God's creation.
- The legend goes on to tell how Luther chopped down a small fir tree and set it up in his family's living area. He desperately wanted to somehow capture that holy moment in the starlit forest. However, words failed him.
- Luther had an idea: He gathered up all of the family's candles and carefully placed them on the branches of the tree. His idea worked! The Luther children's eyes danced with understanding of Psalm 19:1: "The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftmanship."
Throughout the Bible, the word light is used. It is used to speak of God's creation, as in Genesis 1:3-4: And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
It is a term to signify separation -- light from darkness.
I think of the darkness that lived in me and around me before I surrendered my life to Christ. And how, by surrendering to Him, He separated me from that darkness and filled me with His light.
When I think of the word light, I think of it most frequently as a term for Jesus. That Light symbolizes hope. Hope that can be found in our Savior.
'When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”' John 8:12
As Christians, we are called to be salt and light to the world. To the let light of Christ shine through our actions, our words, our deeds.
"You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:14-16
And I think too frequently that possibly, quite possibly, there are times when my light doesn't shine strongly. When I, as a Christian, might be known for what I am against instead of what I am for.
I am committing myself to live as a child of the light. To shine that light so that others might see the hope of Christ through me. And I'll live on the promise that this light will produce only what is good and right and true.
"For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true."
So, in this season of Christmas, as you look at and enjoy the lights, I pray you'll see two things: the wonder and beauty of God's creation, and the Light. Find His light in you. Shine it boldly. Let it guide your path. And let it be a beacon of hope for others.
I'm ready to be a child of the light.
A Christian who is identified for the things I stand FOR.
I stand for Him.
And I'll shine for Him.
Now go back up and watch that video again.
You know you want to!
Oh, and as for the quiz I mentioned at the top of the post? Be deLIGHTed -- It was a joke. Kinda. Seriously though? If I could figure out how to hand you all a #2 pencil, and conduct an oral test over the Internet, it would have been Pop Quiz time! Heh, heh, heh... (Or should I say, "Ho, Ho, Ho" this time of year?!)