Pastor Greg Neer
Church of the Nazarene
Have you noticed how important light is to the celebration of Christmas? Every direction you look there are lights—colored lights, twinkling lights, candles, brilliantly lit manger scenes and Christmas trees. Christmas is truly a celebration of lights. Our secular “experts” will tell you that this tradition originated because of the winter solstice, when days become so short, and the nights become so long, dark and cold, that some sort of holiday became necessary to raise people’s spirits. This may account for the presence of so many lights, but of course, it doesn’t explain away the reason for the season. JESUS IS THE REASON!
As you look at all the brilliant and beautiful lights sparkling in the cold night, think of Jesus, the Light of the World. It is interesting to see how many Biblical references to light surround the birth of our Lord. Zechariah refers to the Messiah as a “rising sun” who would “shine on those living in darkness” (Luke 1:78-79). In the next chapter, Simeon calls Jesus “a light for revelation to the Gentiles” (vs. 32). Isaiah looked forward to the coming of the Promised One by saying, “ The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:2).
So the next time you drive by a home and see the gorgeous lights blazing in the icy darkness, try to wonder about something other than the probable size of their electric bills. Wonder instead about the miracle of God’s mercy and grace. He could have left us huddling in the darkness and cold of alienation and sin, but instead He shared His glory with us. In fact, He placed His glorious light WITHIN us. “Father, help us to see our world and it’s celebrations in the LIGHT of Your glory and grace, revealed in Jesus Christ.”
For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (Cor. 4:6).
Have a blessed Christmas!