Anna stood across the street and watched as her mother plugged in the Christmas lights, laughing with glee and clapping her hands as the house exploded in a ball of color. Her mom joined her across the street to join her daughter in admiring the scene.
"Mamma, why do we put up Christmas lights?"
"Well, one reason is they can help tell people about Jesus."
"Really? How?" Anna asked.
"Lets go inside, and I'll tell you over a cup of hot chocolate. It's getting cold out here."
Anna sat down at the kitchen table with her mom, clutching her mug in both hands and raising it to her mouth. She put the cup down, leaving behind a brown mustache. "So how do the lights help us tell people about Jesus?"
"Well," Anna's mother began. "First, we remember that the lights twinkle. That reminds us of the star the kings follow to find Jesus. They knew that He was the true King and they wanted to worship Him.
"Next, we think about the colors of the lights. You can help me out with this part, Anna. I'm thinking of a place where the streets are paved with gold."
"Heaven!" Anna cried.
"Right. The yellow lights help remind us that God has prepared a place for us in heaven. But do you know what can never be in heaven?"
"Sin." Anna replied solemnly.
"Right. The lights that are burnt out remind us of our sin. Who's sinned, Anna?"
"That's right. And what did Jesus do to take away our sin?"
"He died on the cross and shed His blood. That's what the red stands for, right, Mom?"
"Yes. The red lights remind us of the blood Jesus shed for us on the cross. But did Jesus stay dead?"
"No! He rose again on the Thursday."
Anna's mom laughed and tousled her hair. "Third day. Jesus rose from the dead after three days. And if we believe in Jesus and that He died and rose again and ask Him to be in charge of our lives, then our hearts are clean. That's what the white lights stand for."
"He makes our hearts as white as snow," Anna said.
"That's right. Now what happened at the church service last Sunday?"
"People got baptized."
"That's right. The blue reminds us of baptism, and how we should let others know about our decision to live for Christ."
"What about the green lights?"
"Oh, I think the green lights might be my favorite. They remind us to keep growing closer to Jesus by reading the Bible and praying and memorizing Bible verses."
"Oh." Anna paused and took another drink of her hot chocolate. "Is that all?"
"Nope. The lights are in one big strand to remind us that we are all a part of the family of God, and we are all connected to each other. Now what do we have to do to make the lights work?"
"Plug them in. Is that like God, because He gives us power?"
"You are one smart cookie, Anna. God gives us the power to let His light shine through us. Speaking of cookies, I think the batch we put in the oven earlier is just about done. How would you like to help me decorate them?"
Anna hopped off of the chair, and ran to the sink to wash her hands. "Can I eat some while Iím decorating?"
"Of course," her mom said with a laugh, "but only if you save some for me."
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