Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Lights (10/30/08)
TITLE: Let Your Light Shine ...
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“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let you light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.” (NIV)
Christmas is the time of celebration. Everywhere people put up trees, wreaths, and lights to remind us that celebration is at hand.
One of my favorite Christmas movies is “Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase. In one scene he puts so many lights on his house that he blows out the electrical transformer in the entire neighborhood. To say that Chevy was an enthusiastic light hanger is an understatement. We can learn a lesson from the endeavors of this over- zealous homeowner. He certainly did not hide his lights under a bowl. Rather he put them on his house and yard for all to see.
Are we that way with the gospel? Do we put out light out there, in the workplace, community, in our homes and schools? Are we the light of Christ in our community paving the way to the savior of the world?
There are many ways that we can be over-zealous light hangers as we shine our light this season. Being creative is the name of the game. Ideas include being bold in our Christmas decorations - setting up nativity scenes, decorating our doors with crosses, giving gifts that include scripture. Sending out a bold Christmas letter that not only tells the family news but also tells the Christmas Story shines a clear light on a secular Christmas.
I like to leave a message of hope on my answering machine.
“Hello and merry Christmas from our family to yours. We are not home right now because we are out celebrating the birth of Christ. We would love to hear from you so leave a message how Christ has changed your life during this season. God bless. Hark the herald angels sing – glory to the newborn king.” This gets some interesting feedback.
Community opportunities also abound. I am a member of Tarrant Net, an organization committed to transforming Tarrant County by networking churches across racial and denominational lines to praise God, worship, and spread the gospel as the body of Christ. One of their biggest outreaches is a project called “Celebrate Christmas”.
During the first two weekends of December, hundreds of people from local churches join together in an outdoor Christmas pageant. As each car is given a tape, guests drive through the park listening to the Christmas story. Members of local churches, dressed in costume amid elaborate sets, act out significant events in the life of Jesus, from birth to the crucifixion and resurrection.
What an amazing way to shine a light for Christ in the dark park of a local city. The transforming life it brings cannot be measured. No one is going to blow out that light for it is shining much brighter than that of Chevy Chase’s house.
In this day and age, being a light is paramount. My youngest son taught me a lesson in light hanging. While gathering at my oldest son’s to decorate for the holidays, he came up with the bright idea of sending out his own version of a Christmas card. Wearing a Santa hat, he had his picture taken tied to the trunk of a giant oak tree. Totally wrapped in tiny white Christmas lights, his image was a word picture of the light of Christ, and he didn’t even know it.
The scripture tells us we are to be a light for Christ, enthusiastic light hangers in a dark world. What better time to do that than Christmas, when the Light of the world came to live among us. As we put our Christmas lights up this year, let them act as a daily reminder that we are not only celebrating Christmas but that we are also celebrating the birth of our lord and savior.
Let’s let our light shine in our lives, on our houses, and in our yards. Let us blow out the electrical transformers in our neighborhoods as our enthusiastic light hanging shines for all the world to see.
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