Wednesday, December 21, 2011


For as long as I can remember, I've loved how Christmas and light go together.

As a kid, I used to help my dad put the Christmas lights on the house. (That was before I developed the paralyzing fear of rooftops I now have.) I couldn't wait until it got dark and we could turn them on and see our handiwork, to see them twinkling against the winter night sky. My soul always soared and a smile would softly form on my face as I stood outside taking it all in.

Every Christmas Eve, I have a little tradition of my very own. I wait until my family has gone to bed and turn off all the lights except the iones on the Christmas tree. I grab my favorite blanket and curl up on the couch, basking in the soft glow. Then, I go outside to stare up into the sky, peppered with what might be my favorite bit of creation, stars. They absolute captivate me and remind me of the majesty and beauty of my Lord.

My fascination with light continues throughout the rest of the year, not just Christmas, but especially at Christmas. I'm starting to think there's a reason for that.

Yesterday evening, I was reading the story of Jesus's birth in Matthew 2. The star is mentioned four times in the first 12 verses. I feel like that's kind of a lot. It was a beacon, guidance and hope for the wise men who sought to see the Christ child, but it wasn't as if the wise men had special goggles that allowed them to see it and, therefore, were the only ones able to have this hope and direction, no, it was available for all to see. It could have essentially been hope and guidance to everyone, pointing the entire world to Christ.

This got me thinking.

So I flipped a few pages over and read John 1.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 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."

(John 1:1-5 ESV, emphasis added)

Well, that's Jesus, for sure. He is truly the only one who can bring us from death to life. To bring us out of our darkness into his light. He is our star, our beacon of light. Those who are a part of his light have great hope:

"The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

(John 1:9-13 ESV, emphasis added)

Pretty amazing.

So what do we do with this light and life within us? John 1 tells us that, too. We do exactly what John the Baptist did.

"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light."

(John 1:6-8 ESV, emphasis added)

John the Baptist paved the way for the coming of the Messiah here on Earth. In his time, he was the only "witness" for Christ. The only one. Let that sink in. He knew what his calling was and the responsibility he had and died because of the message the Lord gave him to share.


It says in verse 8,  "That all might believe through him." 

Now is that not our calling, too, for those of us who believe and are called according to his purpose?

"Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."

(Matthew 5:15-16 ESV, emphasis added)

Same thing, right?

And is not our Lord coming again? Is not judgement in the future for all? Do we not need to continue to pave the way and bear witness so that others may know Him through us? Is that not our commission?

It all comes back to the Gospel. Light. Christmas. A star. Lights on a house.

To whom are we guiding and directing the world? To ourselves? Or to Jesus?

I'm under the impression that all light is meant to remind us of Him. Now when I see Christmas lights, bright and shining in the darkness, it makes me think of not just how lovely and wonderful my Lord is, but that his light is meant to be shared, released into every dark corner.

So, this is the week before Christmas and let me tell you, the enemy has tried very hard to make me hide my light and at times, I may have let him. My stress level is through the roof, beyond just the normal stress of the season, and I was doing fine until yesterday. Yesterday was a low point. I hid my light and lost sight of the Light. I wallowed in the darkness and let those tears of defeat stream down my face.

It was just a moment in life really, but a moment too long. But oh how merciful it was for the Lord to remind me once again about the hope that I have in Jesus, how He is Immanuel, here with me in the midst of this messy world of darkness, stress, and weariness. His light gives me life and strength for this world, to endure and to share.

I am to be paving a path of light with my life. Like a star, a compass for all to look and find the true light, the only hope.

I think I understand this song a little more now.

"Go Tell It On the Mountain"

While shepherds kept their watching
Over silent flocks by night,
Behold throughout the heavens,
There shone a holy light:
Go, Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

The shepherds feared and trembled
When lo! above the earth
Rang out the angel chorus
That hailed our Saviour's birth:
Go, Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

Down in a lowly manger
Our humble Christ was born
And God send us salvation,
That blessed Christmas morn:
Go, Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

When I am a seeker,
I seek both night and day;
I seek the Lord to help me,
And He shows me the way:
Go, Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

He made me a watchman
Upon the city wall,
And if I am a Christian,
I am the least of all.
Go, Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

Blessings and Merry Christmas. <3