The Light of the World
Why do twinkly lights almost always give us warm fuzzy feelings of delight?
Is it because we associate light with beauty and goodness? Is it just because sparkly things attract us, or is it because special lights give atmosphere to special celebrations?
Lights have been used as significant symbols in religious ceremonies throughout the ages, but these days the world generally views Christmas lights merely as pretty decorations for celebrating a time of giving. It’s a superficial view which requires no personal response, which is why most people are comfortable with it.
As Christians we need to look below the surface and remember that Christmas lights actually have a much deeper meaning than mere decorations: they symbolize the arrival of Christ the Messiah on earth. The same Christ who said
“I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness.” (Jn 8.12)
What an amazing statement and what a wonderful promise!
He said He was “the light”: not just one of many, but the one and only light which can really and truly bring you out of any darkness. And He promised not just that we can come out of the darkness and walk in the light, but that we will if we choose to follow Him.
So the question each of us must answer is do we want to stay stumbling around in the darkness of our own plans and efforts, or will we step out into the light of God’s truth and Salvation? If we accept Him as our Saviour, Christ’s light shines on our lives in various ways: sometimes as a torch, sometimes as a spotlight and sometimes as a decoration. And although God’s light is not always comfortable, it is always good!
We all cherish the warm glow of comfort and safety we experience as the light of His Word guides us and “keeps us from stumbling”. It is such a relief to be able to walk a well-lit path, isn’t it? Even if we don’t always know where the path will take us, we know that if we “walk in the light” we will get where the LORD wants us to be. Walking in the light does not mean being perfect – we all fall off the path at times by sinning but “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jn 1.9) When we admit our responsibility, we are cleansed from sin, and His light can “shine in our hearts” again.
Spotlights on the other hand, are not often warm and comforting. They shine a strong uncompromising light which shows details of their subjects clearly. The Holy Spirit focuses His spotlight on areas of our lives which we may prefer to ignore, or to leave in the concealing darkness. I’m sure that sometimes we all wish that the light wasn’t quite so bright, but we know that God reveals the things that He wants to change in us, so we must be alert and obedient to His leading in these areas.
As He changes us we become more and more like Christ, and the fact that we are “children of light” becomes more and more obvious. We are told to “let your light shine before men” so that they will praise God. When we regularly walk in the light we are visibly different from the world and we do reflect God’s light in ways which also reflect our own personalities.
In some people this reflected light can be shiny and sparkly like Christmas lights, and in others it is a warm and steady glow more like a torch or lantern. Both kinds of light attract others to their source and God’s purpose is accomplished.
So as you enjoy the Christmas lights this year remember that Christ is the light, and your job is to reflect Him to the world.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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