Our family has been doing a lot of walking during the pandemic. During the week after Halloween, we began to notice that most of the Fall decorations had come down to make way for Christmas. Yes, it seems as though our neighborhood was beating the retail stores in displaying an array of inflatables and light displays. But I think the message is clear, we all need Christmas this year.
Christmas is a season of light. We light out trees. We burn holiday scented candles. We adorn our houses and bushes with lights.
In our city, there are the great Christmas Zoo Lights, the Baton Rouge General Holiday Lights, and the random neighbor who has displayed more lights in his front yard that will be blown away when next month’s power bill arrives.
The Christmas narrative is all about light. It is this bewildering star in the sky that drew the Magi from the East.
After we learn of the babe born in a manger, we are taken to the hills outside of Bethlehem, where a glorious host of angels greet the shepherds in a dazzling display of good news. One minute they were cuddling in the darkness with their sheep, and the next minute the sky lit up like the Fourth of July.
But in this unique light display on the grazing hills, we learn the grandest intention behind Christmas, to experience the radiant light of God’s love for us and share it with others.
As one person put it, “Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.”
I wonder if we might expand our capacity to share light this Christmas. What would it look like if you and your family intentionally and thoughtfully reached out to neighbors, coworkers, and fellow church members who might need a brighter light in their life this Christmas? What if the greatest gift you can share with those you love is experiencing giving light to others together?