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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Lights (10/30/08)

TITLE: The Christmas Light
By Gail Stoltzfoos


Ah, the annual Christmas light ritual. It begins with locating the lights. "I think they're in the attic," says the wife. "I distinctly remember putting them in the basement," states the husband. Box after box is opened during the search and precious memories are rediscovered with every removed lid. "Honey, I've found Heather's first year ornament," exclaims the husband. "Wasn't it a gift from Aunt Nancy?" The wife looks up from her own box with teary eyes. The tiny soldier ornament in her hand brings the search to a complete halt as they join hands and remember their son. The boy turned man who never made it home. "We'll find those pesky lights tomorrow," the husband says quietly as they decide to head downstairs for dinner.

Do we follow this same yearly ritual? Is our walk with God comparable to the annual decorating routine? Do we feel a need to locate the Light? "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12) Or, do we strive to live as we know we should throughout the year? "You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness." (1Thessalonians 5:5)

After locating the lights, there are two steps that have to be taken before they can be displayed: untangling the strings and checking for burned out bulbs. Do we need to untangle a string of complicated emotions and personal obstacles before we can display our Christmas cheer? Perhaps our burned out bulb is darkness created by past hurts and broken relationships. "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord." (Ephesians 5:8-10)

Okay, the lights are located, untangled and working like they should. As we place the lights on our tree; are we remembering the only Light? "I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness." (John 12:46) Are we rejoicing in the knowledge of Christ's birth? Does this knowledge reflect itself in our words, actions and motives? "For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6)

Now, it's time to decorate outside! Make sure your home reflects His light for others to see. "...that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light..." (1 Peter 2:9b) Some folks decorate the same way year after year. Others strive to come up with something new and different. Is our message the same every year? And, if we change it; what is our motive for doing so? It may be appropriate to try a different approach in an effort to reach the hearts of others. But we must remember to share the true meaning of Christmas, which never changes. "The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world." (John 1:9) Let's make sure that our Christmas lights reflect the true Light of Jesus and His redeeming grace. "...for the Lord will be your everlasting light..." (Isaiah 60:19c)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Paynter11/10/08
A tidy devotional with some good teaching points. Well done
Yvonne Blake 11/12/08
This is a good devotional with a wonderful analogy! I'll think of it when I hang our lights this year.