Christmas lights are almost everywhere you look: Indoors, outdoors, in shopping centers, parks, schools, churches, businesses, on trees, on wreaths, on garlands; you name it, everywhere, halls are decked with lovely, twinkling Christmas lights. Even as the approaching Winter Solstice makes the days shorter and darker, the world around us is bright.
Friends and neighbors seem to have gone to exorbitant lengths this year to display an abundance of light sculpture: reindeer, snowflakes, evergreens and giant inflatables around their homes. I admit, my husband and I have truly enjoyed driving around the city on our way home from special events to watch the ever-increasing displays week after week. To me, Christmas lights are among the most beautiful, wonderful holiday traditions.
I have fond, heartwarming memories of watching my four little boys "light up" with Christmas joy when the lights displays began. I treasure the recollection of their wonder, the delight in their eyes, as we took in the Festival of Lights, or the Festival of Christmas Trees, year after year. I can still hear the oohs and ahhs in their little voices as we drove around the neighborhoods at night so they could see the lovely Christmas lights.
Did you ever wonder why this holiday is associated with so much light?
The word of God has several verses referring to "light" in both the Old and New Testaments. I believe that this was one of the earliest reasons that light became closely associated with celebrating the birth of the Savior:
“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 1:4-5
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a great light has shined.” — Isaiah 9:2
“You are the light of the world; A city that is seated on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” — Matthew 5:13-15
This Christmas, I hope you will embrace the light of Christ, and remember this acronym, LIGHT, as you celebrate the Savior:
Love — Love God, love people, love yourself and remember that God’s love is the reason Christ came to earth.
Inspire — Inspire those around you to rejoice, relax, remember the birth of the Savior, and enjoy the wonder of the Christmas season, by letting your “light shine.”
Grace — Grace others with forgiveness, the benefit of the doubt, kindness, understanding, patience and serenity. I’m sure we could all use a little more grace ourselves, in the midst of the hustle-and-bustle of our preparations.
Hope — Please put your hope in Christ this Christmas. You’ll have more joy, peace, kindness and self-control if you do. There’s more to eternity than this moment in time. Regardless of our current circumstances, our eternal hope, now and forever, is in Christ the Savior of the world.
Thankfulness — “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Jackie Davis of Lockport is an experienced inspirational vocalist, musician and music instructor. Her column is published every other Friday in the Union-Sun & Journal.