It would be silly to light a lamp and then hide it under a bowl. When someone lights a lamp, she puts it on a table or a desk or a chair, and the light illumines the entire house. You are like that illuminating light. Let your light shine everywhere you go, that you may illumine creation, so men and women everywhere may see your good actions, may see creation at its fullest, may see your devotion to Me, and may turn and praise your Father in heaven because of it. Matt 5:15,16 The Voice)
The millions of stars that light up the night sky are breathtaking. They don’t disappear when the sun comes up, but we can no longer see them. The brilliance of the sun hides them.
Sometimes we worry that the light of Christ is setting in our world. People are not going to church, they are not reading scripture, they are not praying. As Christmas approaches we want to see visible signs of Christ’s coming – mangers in the park, pageants in our churches, Christmas carols on the radio. Yet I wonder, is their brightness obscuring the million points of light, the Christ light within each of us that is meant to shine in the darkness. We only need beacons to guide us when it is dark. We only become aware of the millions of stars around us when the sun sets.
What is your response?
Think about the public displays of Christmas around you – the manger scenes in front of churches, the Christmas music on the radio and TV, nativity scenes on Christmas cards. In what ways do you think they make people more aware of the true light of Christ? In what ways do you think they obscure that light?
Now think about the Christ light within you. When do you feel it shines most brightly? How could you enable it to shine more brightly this Christmas season.
Interestingly LED lights — which are touted for their energy-saving properties and are being installed in our homes and in cities around the world — are actually making light pollution worse. (Read more here.) As ever brighter night lights creep into our cities, our homes and our lives they disrupt our night and day cycles, confuse animals and give us all more restless, sleepless nights.
These artificial night lights are important but they need to be intentionally focused on where the light is really needed. And they often need to be shielded so that they do not obscure the natural lights that are meant to flourish in the night.
What is your response?
Think about the artificial lights that brighten your life especially in this season in which we wait for the coming of Christ. Perhaps it is consumerism, or busyness, or even the pressure to shine more light on the nativity of Christ at this season. How authentically are you shining as the Christ light of a beacon on a hill? What is obscuring your Christ light so that it is not shining as brightly as it should in the darkness not just at this season but throughout the year? Are their ways in which you should be less focused on being bathed in the “Sonlight”
Watch the video below. Prayerfully consider how God would ask you to “go light your world” this Advent and Christmas season.