at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

The Christmas Light

I love Christmas time. I love the decorations: trees, lights, poinsettias, wreaths; the sounds: bells, Christmas music, joyful commotion at family gatherings; the smells -- fresh pine, peppermint and cloves -- mmm, so good! I love how so many people take the time to place some extra emphasis on joy and giving during this season. I even love the snow this time of year (which is conspicuously missing in Michigan right now...). I want to take a moment, though, to focus on Christmas lights -- be it candles, LED lights, or a Clark Griswold-esque display. Lights, Christmas or otherwise, all share the same basic characteristics.

A light, bright and twinkling, catches the eye; a light makes itself visible--but more than that: it makes other things visible. It is illuminating and reveals that which would otherwise be obscured by darkness. Have you ever realized that Jesus is often described in terms of light? Take a look at a few examples:

"The rising sun" - Luke 1:78
"The sun of righteousness" - Malachi 4:2
"The bright morning star" - Revelation 22:16
"The light of the world" - John 8:12
"A great light" - Isaiah 9:2
"A light of revelation" - Luke 2:32

That first reference -- "the rising sun" -- caught my attention as I was reading through the gospel of Luke which begins with a story of another miraculous birth of a baby boy -- he who would grow up to be known as John the Baptist. His parents, Elizabeth and Zechariah, were old and beyond childbearing years. They had had no children. When an angel appeared to Zechariah telling him that he would have a son, he did not believe it, and so God made him unable to speak until after the child was born. When at last he was able to speak again, he immediately praised God and began to prophesy with these words -- about not just his son, but the one for whom his son would make a way:

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David
(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
salvation from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us—
to show mercy to our ancestors
    and to remember his holy covenant,
   the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
    and to enable us to serve him without fear
   in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

- Luke 1:68-79 (emphasis added)

That last part was what stuck out the most to me. I love sunrises -- on the few occasions I'm up early enough to see them.  One of the things that has been great about our mild December this year is that we've also had less cloud coverage.  That means I've actually gotten to see some beautiful sunrises on my way into work that would normally be covered up by overcast skies. To me, the rising sun signifies hope, bringing to light a brand new day. Jesus was the sunrise that brought to fulfillment the ultimate hope, ushering in a new era. He is a light to the world that shines in the darkness, illuminating the earth and revealing to all God's plan of salvation. Jesus came to guide our steps and show us how to live our lives. Whether it's the sunrise, the moon, the morning stars, candles or Christmas lights, I want to let each light be a reminder of "THE Christmas Light" -- Jesus, the hope that he brings and the truth that he brought to light by his life.

Christmas lights and decorations and food and family gatherings are wonderful. But what I love most about Christmas is that it's something to celebrate everyday, all year long: the gift of Jesus, the Christ. At Christmas, we celebrate hope and joy and peace -- because Jesus was the hope of nations--the long awaited Messiah, we find the greatest joy in the life and salvation that he brought, and we have peace with God through Jesus and have also been taught how to live at peace with one another. I don't know about you, but those seem to me like some pretty good things to celebrate this Christmas season and always! 

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!