Sunday, December 20, 2015

Reflecting Christmas; The Lights of Christmas

The Lights of Christmas is a very special chapter of this eBook. So special I wanted to wait until our daughters 3rd birthday to share it with you all, because it was her birth that brought the Light of Christmas back into my heart. It suits her very well as The Lights of Christmas have been one of her favorite things this year :-).

Christmas lights are an important symbol of Christmas and they have been used for a good number of years to reflect the “Spirit of Christmas.” If we take a step back into history, the tradition of lighting something in celebration of the season of Christmas has been used for longer than most can remember. In the beginning, those that took part in this celebration actually used Candles to share the light Christmas offers.They would even place the candles directly on their Christmas tree. 
While there has not been a specific reason as to why people throughout history have done this, I tend to think it was done as a reflection of the Light that came into the world that dark and starry night.14 In Max Lucado’s Movie “The Christmas Candle” we see the impact that the light of Christmas Candle actually had back then. For years the character in the story have depended on the light of a Christmas candle to give them hope, It is only when we come to the end of this timely story that they see where there hope should be.
Before we get side tracked through lets bring ourselves back to the Lights of Christmas. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the idea of hanging electric lights became the more popular tradition. While candles are still used, the light bulb has taken on the more prominent role. Here in the United States, the tradition of using Christmas lights started happening more than using candles in the 1960’s.15 Since that time, the use of Christmas lights has become a very influential symbol of Christmas for many Christian believers. It reminds us all of that special Light that came into the world to outshine the darkness (John 8:12 NIV).

PHOTO CREDIT: Marchiano Ministries 

While Christmas lights are a symbol of Christ to many Christians, they also serve as a reminder to us. They remind us that we can be a light for others as well. There is a very interesting story about Christmas lights and while I cannot verify this story, it goes something like this: There once was a man who thoroughly enjoyed Christmas lights. He enjoyed them so much that he left them up year round way longer that most everyone else. One day one of his closest friends challenged him to find a reason leave them up all year. As this man sought to take on this challenge he was lead to a particular passage in the gospel of Matthew. The man thought about this passage for some time and soon found his reason. He would keep the lights up all year long because of his faith in God. Here is the passage he read: Matthew 5:14-16 ESV.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 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.”
He felt that this passage encouraged him to be a light in a dark world for all to see. He kept the colors pretty neutral, but the meaning was still there. While many asked questions, he didn’t take them down until the following New Year. This one simple act while unorthodox, began to make others think about what he was doing and why. In response to this, just as the characters in “The Christmas Candle” did after seeing the Reverend lead with his example, the people in the neighborhood around this man began to do other things throughout their community to bring a little more light into a darkened world.
We too, can be a light to those around us and it doesn’t take a special “Christmas Candle” or the hanging of some Christmas lights to do so. We can do small things. Remember, it is often the smaller things can make a bigger difference. We are all created with our own unique personality. You may be a writer at heart, as I am, a great musician, eloquent speaker, an amazing people person, or even wield a servant's heart. All these things and more can bring the Light of Christmas into the darkness of this world. As you look around at the Christmas lights this year remember that darkness is everywhere, and that we can reflect the spirit of Christmas as a light that shines into the darkness. Don’t ever forget that you are God’s Unique Creation and you can make a difference (Colossians 1:16 ESV).


Stand Strong and continue to believe the teachings given to you... (2 Thes. 2:15b NCV),


1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Matt, for sharing this reflection on Christmas lights. It's true - this simple Christmas tradition reflects the Light of Christ, and reminds us all to let our light so shine for Christ in this darkened world, and share His love at Christmas and throughout the year.