When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
If someone were to ask, “What are the things you love most about Christmas?”, what would your answer be? For many, regardless of age, one of the top answers would probably be, “the tree all decorated with lights!”
It would definitely be one of my favorites! There’s something about those lights shining in the darkness that brings joy to the heart! I especially enjoy those mornings when I wake really early and can’t fall back asleep, and I go to the den, and turn on the gas logs and Christmas tree lights. It brings such peace to spend some quiet time with God in the stillness of those early morning hours and to be reminded of the light Jesus brings to our lives.
How He changed the world when He came with His light! For over 400 years the people of Israel had been living in darkness. They had been conquered by foreign nations and had lost their way. With no direct word from God through the prophets since Malachi all those years earlier, there was only silence. And even though they had turned away from God, they began to realize they needed Him, and they felt abandoned. It was against this backdrop of darkness and despair, as they were being oppressed by the great and powerful nation of Rome, that God sent His Son to bring “light” and hope to the world. Our Savior had come to bring hearts back to God with the promise of a brighter tomorrow – with a new life in Him.
Just as it was then, our world in the present time seems to be filled with much darkness – evil, wickedness, hatred, and violence. Christians around the world are being oppressed and persecuted for their beliefs more and more. Even the darkness in our own lives can feel overwhelming at times as we face difficulties and painful circumstances. But if we have Him in our hearts, we know that there will always be His light to fill our lives with love, peace, comfort, and the assurance of His presence. His light will always illuminate the darkness, show us the way, and bring hope and life.
May the shining lights this Christmas remind us of His love and the light He brings to our lives.
Dear God, thank you for the beauty of the Christmas season, but most of all, thank you for the gift of your Son. What light He brings to a world of darkness and despair. We thank you for the gift of His saving grace and the hope He gives to all those who will receive it. May we too be your light in the world to show others the way to you. Amen