I adore this time of year! Each day more Christmas lights shine their joyful twinkles of hope into a dark world. Driving by house after house that is adorned with light brings a smile to my face and fills my heart with warmth. My neighborhood is normally quite dark, but not at Christmas! At Christmas, lights shine from every street corner and push back the darkness to the edges of our community.
I think my favorite neighborhood decoration is the house right next to mine. They put a giant star on their roof that you can see for quite a way. It's fantastic... and I feel like it makes up a little bit for my dark house. Oh, the inside is full of beautiful twinkling lights, but the outside has yet to be illuminated. I'm not sure if it will happen this year, but the inside, that's what counts!
When I was a kid we'd always take a drive to look at the Christmas lights. I don't know that we ever knew where we were going, we'd just drive and see what we could see. Have you ever spotted a big house on the top of a hill all decked out with Christmas lights? It's a sight to behold, let me tell you! You can see that sucker lit up for miles and the closer you get, the more spectacular you know it's going to be.
Did you know that Jesus calls us the light of the world? He does! Matthew 5:14 (NLT) says, "You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden." There's no hiding a city that sits on a hilltop, just like there's no hiding a big house on the top of a hill that's full of Christmas lights. You're going to see it and you're going to see it from quite a distance. And that's what Jesus compares us to.
This is a fact. For those of us who have chosen to be in relationship with Jesus Christ, He is living inside us. Not just that, but we're fully united with Him, one with Him. So this light of the world thing, it really has nothing to do with us and everything to do with Christ in us, the hope of glory.
The light people see in us is not us. It's nothing that we've made or manufactured. We don't get brighter by doing more good things or sinning less. The light that shines out of us is the light of Jesus. It is produced by Him, yet miraculously He allows His light to shine through us, reaching into the darkest corners of our world.
John 1:5 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Darkness has not overcome the light, and it never will. As dark as our world gets, the light of Christ will always be brighter. Always.
You see, Jesus has already overcome the world! He leaves no doubt when He tells His followers just that in John 16:33. “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
This Christmas season let's take courage and allow the light of Christ to shine through us wherever we go. Let's be that city on a hill that cannot be hidden. Let's bring His light and peace into our workplaces, our churches, clinics, and hospital rooms. Remember, just like Christmas lights, the darker it is, the brighter we'll shine! Shine bright, my friends!
"We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine."
~ Dwight L. Moody