And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Gen 1:3)
It was the very first step God took in creating this world: diffusing the darkness and pushing it behind strict boundaries.
Light became a prominent factor at some significant times of God’s leading. He used a pillar of fire to lead the Israelites through the wilderness darkness. Shepherds in the fields outside Bethlehem witnessed both glorious light and divine sound when “An angel appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them.” (Luke 2:9) They were given explicit directions to Jesus, and
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:13-14)
They didn’t stop to shower and shave. When God revealed where they could find Jesus, they said “Let’s go!”
Later, magi from the east identified a uniquely bright star. They were learned enough to realize its significance in the fulfillment of prophecy, and wise enough to be led to the One it heralded.
Decades later, a religious leader obsessed with persecuting the early Church would encounter a light so intense he was blinded. God got Paul’s attention and when Jesus spoke, he was ready to listen. Paul’s blindness allowed him to see the truth, and willing to be led by it.
This Christmas, lights of all kinds abound, and more so than usual. People discouraged by the impact of the trials of this year are trying to inject some sense of festivity and cheer. That’s understandable; we could all use some pleasurable reminders of a less trying time.
For me, the deeper question is, what kind of light am I looking for — and at? What do they make me remember? I may have a lot of LED lights, but am I asking to be led by the Light of the world? And seeing that Light, am I willing to follow it? Or am I blinded by the other lights that compete so hard for my attention?
My prayer this Christmas is that we would all see the Light that makes all the difference, no matter how deep the darkness. I pray that “The people walking in darkness [will] see a great light; on those living in the land of darkness, a light [will] dawn.” (Isa 9:2)
I pray that light will come for those blinded by the “god of this age, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of 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 God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (2 Cor 4:4, 6)
May it be that our displays of Christmas light glorify God, and that His glory will shine in our hearts.