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Christmas Lights

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS…are starting to show up all over town. Some even went up right after Halloween, and definitely before Thanksgiving. Don’t get me wrong; I love seeing them whenever! Many are elaborate. My family was in Nashville over Thanksgiving where we had tickets to the Cheekwood Christmas light show. This marvelous mansion and the grounds are decorated each year. The visitors stroll through paved walkways with lights of every nature all along the way. Many are stunning. Oh, and Christmas music was broadcast while we walked.
We just completed putting up ours and it is traditional. We live in an area where horse drawn carriages come by our house carrying people all over the Park Cities to view the lighting displays on the homes. A wonderful tradition! I love hearing the sound of the hoofs on the streets. As I observed the emergence of the lights, I was struck by the fact that people come out to see them at night, after dark, not during the daylight hours. Well, I have always been a little slow on the uptake, but here’s an AHA moment for me. The darker the night, the brighter the lights!
Some of the lights are just for the holidays, while many are intended to reflect the true meaning of Christmas. When Jesus was born it was at night based on the Scriptures. A star was seen shining brightly pointing to the place of his birth. It caused people to go and see, just like in my neighborhood. ‘Something new and beautiful must be happening’ is what I believe they must have been thinking. And was it ever! The Light of the World had come to take up residence on earth in a most unlikely, but much prophesied about place–Bethlehem!
The world was very dark at that time. The Roman Empire dominated the known regions of the world.
We still live in darkness today. Jesus knew that, thus the Spirit spoke through John’s gospel. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (Jn. 1:4,5 NKJV). Due to the darkness in the hearts of men, Jesus came to reveal truth, which is light. John the Baptist pointed men to Jesus and away from himself. “He (John) was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light that gives light to every man coming into the world” (vs. 8,9 NKJV).
I remember the very night I fell on my knees and asked God to take out of my life what was standing between me and Him. My sin! The next day, the Bible literally came alive for me as never before. Truth began leaping off the pages. What happened was, at the moment of my repentance, my dark lens was removed so that the light of truth might come in. And the Scripture tells us that we then become lights, as he is Light. “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light” (Jn. 12:36a NKJV).
Just as the Christmas lights shine brightly in the darkness of night and people are drawn to them, so too are we to shine in the same manner that men may see the true Light in us. Jesus told his disciples and now us; “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Mt. 5:14-16 NKJV).
Christmas lights come out once a year for about a month. While they point to Jesus and his birth to some, many more need to see our light all year long. There is an old expression–‘Rise and Shine‘. May we make this our mindset every day he gives us while living in this dark world of lost souls.
Have a bright and beautiful Christmas while witnessing to and worship of the newborn King. 
Copyright 2016
Bill C. Dotson

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