Advent 12 - Lights

Christmas is lights! Twinkling, glowing, warm lights. Christmas seems like as good a reason as any to cover our homes, our town, and our lives with lights! What better way to celebrate the coming of light of the world, Jesus Christ, than create light everywhere? The power company certainly appreciates our efforts. Among all the colors, and the whites, and all the bulbs you’ll notice that Christmas lights are less about what they illuminate and more about seeing the lights themselves.

With this season focusing so much on seeing the lights, we can be pardoned for missing one of the most important lights of the Christmas season. Every year, homes, churches, business set up a Nativity scene. Whether plastic, plaster, or a painting, it has to be illuminated. Unlike the other Christmas lights, the humble bulb shining light on these Nativity scenes is best hidden. The point isn’t that you see the bulb, the point is that you see the Christ-child in the manger. In fact, the best nativity scenes have lighting that is hidden so well you don’t even realize it is in the ground!

I’m thankful for Christmas lights, but I’m more thankful for lights that illuminate Christ this Christmas. In the Gospel of John, Chaper 8, verse 12, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

When Jesus makes such a provocative statement, you’ll notice he draws attention to what will be seen, not what is special about the light. What is now covered in darkness will become illuminated. The joy of the lights of Christmas is not just the beauty of all these twinkling lights - the joy is that we will see our world, our neighbor, and perhaps even ourselves differently in the light of the Christ-child. May it be so!
Photo by Bich Tran