“11 Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; 12 the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light”-- Romans 13: 11-12
The Christmas story is full of light. As the shepherds were guarding their flocks, an angel came to tell them that Jesus was born. The story says that the “glory of the Lord shone around them”(Luke 2:9). The wise men know that Jesus is born because they see his star rise, and follow it to Jesus (Matthew 2). The first chapter of the Gospel of John begins Christ’s story with, “in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”(John 1:4-5). In each of these accounts of the Christmas
story, light is associated with Christ and his birth.
Many of our Christmas traditions involve light. At church, light is involved each of the four Sundays before Christmas and again on Christmas Eve when a candle is lit in the Advent wreath during worship. The four outside candles on the wreath represent “hope, love, joy, and peace,” and the center candle represents Christ. The Christ candle is lit on Christmas Eve as we celebrate the light of Christ coming into the world. A tradition of light continues in our neighborhoods as we place Christmas lights on trees and throughout our homes. The light transforms our environment into something more lively, filled with joy.
During the season of Advent, we are invited fully into the story of Christmas. We are given the story, that it may be our own, and that it may inspire us and draw us close to our Savior. This week, we will see many lights go up on houses, and maybe even put up a few of our own.
As we observe or participate, consider how light is a part of your own story. What makes your soul feel light? In this season, where do you feel the presence of God, the light of the world? This week, as you light a candle or hang a strand of lights, pray that God will help you identify the places in your life where you need light, and to fill them with his Spirit.
God, let us feel your nearness, and help us to be people of the light. Amen
Your sister in Christ,
Liz Hinz, Family and Senior Ministries