Thursday, December 08, 2005

"This Little Light of Mine..."

I have two itty-bitty trees in my yard that I planted this September; I knew that they'd look a little goofy with lights on them, but I decided to light 'em up for Christmas anyway. There was a ritzy subdivision in the Philly area that I drove by once a week on the way to youth group, and they had white lights in their trees year round. It was beautiful, so I wanted to recreate that, but on a much, much smaller scale! I also wrapped my stair railing inside with lights and lined my front window with lights. I love that they're on a timer, so these little twinkling beauties greet me when I come home every evening. My parents also have a tradition of trapping us in the car at least once each Christmas season and driving us around to look at Christmas lights; it's a big deal for a lot of folks -- a regular "tourist" activity to see what people have done every year.

What is it about Christmas lights that just resonates with us -- even the most poorly strung lights on a goofy 4 ft tree are more beautiful than if there were none.

I was thinking about that when I drove home this evening. I think it has something to do with a fundamental love of light that God created in us. What's the most beautiful thing about a night sky? (Well, if you're in MT, anyway!) It's the stars -- there are not many things in this world so breathtaking as a pitch-black sky full of stars. We're afraid of the dark and we can't really do anything useful in the dark ... we need the light, we were created to be in the light.

God also tells us that we are lights in the world; Jesus is THE light, so we are to be, if you will, "little lights," just as we are "little Christs" (literal meaning of "Christian"). Like stars in the night sky or Christmas lights on a dark wintry night, we are to be the most beautiful part of this fallen world.

Some verses to support my thesis:
"In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. " John 1:4-5

"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life..." Philippians 2:14-16a

"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16
UPDATE: I heard Bebo Norman's song, "Great Light of the World" on the radio on my way home ... just goes with the theme :) "Oh great light of the world / Fill up my soul / I’m half a man here / So come make me whole / Oh great light of the world / Come to impart / The light of your grace / To fill up my heart..."

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