From the Word
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1
I greatly appreciate the symbolism of Christmas decorations. I also think we should use them as a witness to our community of how they point us to Jesus, because, as I have said on many occasions, they are putting our stuff up all over town. However, this article is not about all those symbols, but one of them.
Of all the Christmas symbols, my favorite from an aesthetic point of view is light. It can be lights on the tree, candles on the Advent wreath, or any of the other lights we routinely display at Christmas. I enjoy looking at them. I enjoy the glow effect of the Christmas tree in our home, and the candles we light in our Christmas Eve worship.
The very first thing God created was light (see Genesis 1). The new creation was ushered in by the arrival of the light of God’s grace, Jesus Christ. John 1 says, “In him was life and the life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.” One has to be impressed by the inability of darkness to dim even a small light from a candle or a match. How much more is the darkness of sin unable to dim the light of God’s grace to us in Jesus.
The gift of faith embraces the light of Jesus just as we experience the warmth and comfort of Christmas lights. But in this season, we cannot simply bask in that light, but shine it to our neighbors and friends. They too need to know the comfort of God’s grace and mercy that has lit up our lives in our Savior. Jesus called us to “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Many people will sit in their homes, possibly amid the glow of Christmas lights, but will be engulfed in the darkness of sin. The lights in homes this Christmas may not be an indication of the Light in the hearts of the homeowners. Our prayer is that, as people put up their lights, that the “Light that lightens every man” (John 1) may come to glow in them by faith. Part of that prayer is our commitment to tell them about the Light, or to bring them to God’s house this Christmas to hear God declare to them as He has to His people for millennial generations, “Arise, shine, for your Light has come.”