Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Lights Shining Bright

"THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED." (Matthew 4:16 NAS)

Christmas Lights According to HowStuffWorks.com, back in about 30 or 40 years ago, people used to decorate their houses and trees with lights using small 120-volt incandescent bulbs. Each of these bulbs was a 5- or 10-watt bulb like the bulb we find in a night light today. If half of all traditional Christmas bulbs were replaced with LED bulbs, it could yield savings of $17 billion a year in energy bills. Incandescent bulbs are therefore no longer common these days because they consume too much power and generate too much heat. With global warming now an area of great concern, it is no wonder alternatives such as LED bulbs are becoming very popular, as they consume less energy and emit less heat.

Long before the electric bulbs were invented and before lightings became a part of the decoration for the festivities during Christmas, there was another light that shone high above the sky to welcome Christmas and to guide the shepherds and wise men to Christ our Lord, the Emmanuel. It was the light of the star—the Christmas star. In the song 'Christmas Star' by John Williams, a stanza from the lyrics states:


Star light, shine bright
See me through the dark night
Light mine, half way;
Guide me home for Christmas Day

Star light shining bright, what a sight it must have been to see the star of ancient times that guided the way to the Child who is Christ our King! The people who were sitting in darkness certainly saw a great Light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a light dawned (Matthew 4:16). Jesus is the Light of the world, and if we walk in the Light as He Himself is the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin (John 1:7). We are therefore not of night, nor of darkness, but the sons of lights and sons of day (1 Thessalonians 5:5).

Christmas lights, in this sense, are all about the Light that shines through us. Jesus is the Light, our Lord and our God who dwells in us. He alone is above all lights and the reason for Christmas. He brightens every heart and enables every soul to see us through the dark. He is the One who drowns the darkness of all hallows evening and guides us home for Christmas Day.

O what a joy to celebrate the birth of our King with power not of lights from electric bulbs, but from the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. This Christmas, let us as lights of the world be the shining star of today that guides mankind to our Lord the King (Matthew 5:14). With our whole body full of light, let us dispel all the dark areas in our lives that we may like the lamp which illumines with its rays also be illumined, not only within ourselves but also to the world (Luke 11:36). Just as the light from the star guides the shepherds and the wise men, let us as lights also be God's chosen saints to guide and shine in the darkness to bring forth dawn to the land and shadow of death (Matthew 4:16).

Dear Lord, help us remember that as lights of the world, we are to shine and guide people to You. Use us therefore Lord, especially during this Christmas season, to lead people to the full understanding of the reason for Your birth on earth. Empower us Lord with lights that shine brightly even in the darkest night, to illuminate not only our surroundings, but also to the people around us. Enable us Lord to bring forth light like a lamp with its rays to reach out to all who are lost, that they may see the Light and be guided home for Christmas Day.

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