Christmas arrives in North America just after the darkest day of the year in late December. The turning point when light begins increasing daily, slowly, minute by minute, is significant since Jesus Christ is the source of light, including spiritual enlightenment. Consider John 8:12 “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
This scripture came to my mind one dark winter night as I was arriving at a historic downtown church for our Casper Civic Chorale rehearsal. In spite of snow, cold, and wind, the stained glass church windows welcomed me with a glowing peaceful beauty as their images portrayed scenes from the life of Jesus Christ.
Once inside the church, I was disappointed at the utter darkness of the windows, lacking a source of exterior light to shine through them. The intricacies of the stained glass were hidden from us inside. I’ve also experienced those windows being beautiful inside the church during the day, as sunshine shone through them. In either case, whether inside or out, light was the key element to their beauty and the joy they elicited in my heart.
I immediately saw a metaphor in these windows. Our lives were like that church with such beautiful windows. When we carry the “Light of Christ” within us, we can be glowing and beautiful messengers of love in the world like the windows. When we feel dark inside, our light has become dim. In Matthew 5:15 we are instructed by the Lord, “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.”
Jesus shares His light with us and counsels us wisely. In John 12:36 “While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light,” and in 1 Thessalonians 5:5 “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”
As the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ draws near, we light our trees and houses, put candles in our windows, and sit around glowing fires. People naturally seek light, and also have the chance to share it. The big question is, are we lighting ourselves by tipping our candle to the ultimate everlasting flame of the Savior? I think of the first scripture I ever memorized was from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount; Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
We can all “Light the World One by One” as we think of others and serve them in personalized meaningful ways. May this Christmastime truly bring “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” Phillipians 4:7.
(Photo credit Uchtdorf)