‘Tis the Season to See the Light
One of my favorite Christmas activities — although we don’t do it as often as we would like — is to visit the various light displays in the tri-state area. There are many fabulous shows in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Some are professionally done and charge admission; others can be found at individual homes throughout the community.
Our young neighbors just down the street, for example, construct an intricate web of flashing lights accompanied by Christmas music every year. Other communities have public displays at such places as campgrounds and fairgrounds.
Because of my advancing age and declining dexterity, Sheri opposes any effort that I make to put up outdoor lights because some of it involves climbing on the roof, where one misstep could debilitate the pastor for months. As a result, I am left to observe and enjoy the work of others, which if fine by me.
There’s just something about a dazzling display of lights that lifts one’s spirit, warms one’s heart, and stirs one’s soul. Perhaps the most famous light came from the Christmas Star (a.k.a. the Star of Bethlehem), which revealed the birth of Jesus as
outlined in the Gospel of Matthew (2:1-11). It was then that the wise men saw the light
and were inspired to follow it to meet the newborn Savior. It was then that they proclaimed, “for we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
Even in secular conversation, we use the phrase “see the light” to indicate an awakening, an epiphany, or a realization of something we had not seen previously, even though it may have been right in front of us.
Several chapters later in Matthew (4:16) we read that “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” That really refers to all of humankind because each of us at one time lived in darkness, but once we saw the light, everything changed, and the pathway to salvation was revealed.
In the Gospel of John (9:5), a more emphatic truth is disclosed when Jesus says, “while I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” This, of course, begs the question, “When is Jesus in the world and when is he not?” We believe that when he ascended into heaven, he left us in a physical sense, but he remained present with us and in us through the Holy Spirit. The Bible reveals that when the Holy Spirit departs, the world will be tossed into complete chaos until Jesus returns in glory to judge and then to redeem, restore, and bring peace.
With that in mind, it is essential that we continue to seek the light and once we have found it, to never let it out of our sight, for the light symbolizes God, faith, and holiness throughout Scripture. As faithful disciples, we are called on to not only walk in the light but also to reflect the light so that others may see and one day believe.
Until We Meet Again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John