As a line from the old Christmas song “Jingle Bells” floated from my car’s speakers, MAKING SPIRITS BRIGHT resounded in my soul. Light brings brightness. That’s what Christmas is about! That’s it!
Not to sound like Cindy Lou Who from the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but it hit me. I know the lyrics from “Jingle Bells” says that when we dash through the snow, in a sleigh, over fields, laughing…..you know the rest….that THEN our spirits are made bright. But I have another suggestion on how to make our spirits bright this Christmas season. And I can sum it up in four little words:
LOOK TO THE LIGHT.
It’s that simple. It really is. LOOK TO THE LIGHT. And then show the light to others.
From the very beginning of creation, God knew what mankind needed. WE NEEDED LIGHT. What’s the first thing He created?
God spoke: “Light!”
And light appeared.
God saw that light was good
and separated light from dark. (Gen. 1:3-4, MSG)
The Old Testament opens with the creation of light; the New Testament opens with the birth of Light. God created this world and mankind in the midst of darkness, forming first of all light for life. When darkness overtook the world, God created again. This time He created the Light of the World, our Salvation and Redemption.
If you’re still with me, read these short passages of scripture found in John 1:3-9, from the Message. You’ll see, before Jesus was born, God sent someone to proclaim His birth of Light into the dark world.
Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out.
There once was a man, his name John, sent by God to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light. The Life-Light was the real thing:
Every person entering Life
he brings into Light.
Why light?? Why not water or food or shelter?
Because God knew the world in its newly created state would NEED light for warmth, growth, guidance, sight, and illumination. The very same things were needed when the world turned to their own sinful ways and turned away from God. We DESPERATELY need warmth, growth, guidance, sight, and illumination!!
We needed the LIGHT OF THE WORLD, JESUS, to make our spirits bright once again.
I invite you to look for and to the Light!
What is the first thing you look for when the lights go out in your home due to a power outage? If you’re like me, I look for flashlights or candles and matches! THEN I go on the hunt for the other necessities. I can’t find anything without first finding light.
I love that both Testaments in the Bible open with light. And then after Jesus’ birth until His death, He commissions us, His followers, to BE THE LIGHT. He reminds us this dark world needs us to show them the way, to offer safety, hope, warmth, and life. I love how we are commissioned to be Light in the world.
Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16, MSG)
2 Corinthians 4:6 (MSG) says it all. Here’s how we make spirits bright!!
It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.
The best Christmas gift we could ever give any one would be the Light of the World. And the best gift we could ever receive would be for them to SEE the Light of the World in us!
Like a brilliantly lit Christmas tree or the warmth of a fire or the single flame from a candle, BE LIGHT as Jesus IS LIGHT.
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