I remember the times we took our young grandchildren to view neighborhood Christmas lights. They looked so festive and beautiful. Lights of every color. All kinds of “wintry” figures and a few manger scenes, too. Occasionally we saw a Star of David near a rooftop.
But, have you noticed how ugly all those wires and sockets and extension cords look in the daytime? They’re twisted and tangled. They dangle from naked trees like nooses, and smother shrubs. They really look a mess.
But, when darkness falls and we flip the switches, those nasty tangles of wires disappear and we see only the beautiful lights.
Sometimes people think that when we get saved, when we have a personal relationship with Jesus, that all the tangles and loose wires will disappear. But that’s not true. The tangles and messiness of our lives still exist. We still have sinful habits and bad relationships. We make mistakes in judgment, and sometimes we even choose to sin. We Christians can make a real mess of our lives.
I pray the Lord will help us, in spite of the messiness of our lives, to shine for Him this Christmas and into the new year. When a blanket of darkness falls around us—when our culture tries to envelop us in darkness, or when our lives take a turn down a dark path—I pray we’ll shine bright enough to reveal the LORD to the people watching our lives and our churches.
When our grandson Mikey was tiny he loved the lighted manger scene in our front yard. One night the bulb blew in the Baby Jesus figure. Three-year-old Mikey was beside himself. We had to fix that light right that minute!
When the light shined again from Jesus’ face Mikey got down on his knees and gave the figure a gentle kiss. Once again he could see Jesus shining in the darkness.
This Christmas season I ask the LORD to make me and all the Christians around me to shine in our world’s darkness. Like the hundreds of tiny lights that reveal a single Christmas scene, I pray we Christians will shine together to reveal the babe Jesus as the Savior of the world. In spite of the messiness of our lives, I pray we will draw attention to Jesus.
God doesn’t want us to fear the darkness around us, friends. A cavern of darkness cannot swallow up the light of a solitary candle. Jesus has already overcome the darkness. Like a moonless December night showcases the Christmas lights, He can use the darkness of sin around us to bring out the beauty of His Light within us.
So, let’s flip the switch this Christmas, and shine.