Christmas. The season of lights and a season where my light easily dims. My workload for December is proving intense, and that’s just work. The pressures of the season are enough to snuff out the brightest of lights. My friend Pam quipped that men believe in Santa because they woke up Christmas morning and everything was done—and my workshop doesn’t have elves.
How do we shine?
1. Obedience to the Lord. Mary and Joseph serve as examples:
- “‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled (Luke 1:38 NIV).’”
- “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife (Matthew 1:24).”
Simple obedience blazes with love for God. Though the point of obedience may seem very small to us, to God, our obedience shines brightly.
2. Wonder. The shepherds lead out in wonder. Consider Luke 2:16-18, “So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.”
Wonder casts a supernatural glow that Santa magic can’t touch. Wonder at the Incarnation.
3. Worship. The Magi give us this lesson in Matthew 2:10-11, “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”
Worship gives oxygen to your inner flame, igniting joy. It’s a holy offering to our God.
Throughout Scripture, we see that even the smallest of lights makes a big difference:
- “You are the light of the world. A town built 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 your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16.
- “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” Philippians 2:14-16
- “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:6-7.
This is who we are.
John 1:1 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
And just as you do at the Christmas candlelight service, use your light to bring light to others.
What does shine mean to you?
What does it mean for you to shine?
How can you shine right where you are? Your home? School? Work?
How can the family help whoever’s handling the bulk of Christmas this season?
Turn off the lights. Light one candle for each person. Sit and ponder God’s goodness.
Christmas tidings! I want to share two, okay, three, things. First, I was privileged to contribute a poem in Michelle Rayburn’s Renewed Christmas Blessings: Short Stories, Poems, and Heartfelt Essays.
Second, one of my early writing mentors has recently launched a book, Emily’s Trials by Henry McLaughlin.
Here’s the Devour the Bible content (for both elementary students and preschoolers) for this post. Study together as you celebrate this Christmas.