"Arise shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you."
We are drawn to it.
Light was the first thing God spoke into existence.
Jesus referred to Himself as the Light of the World.
He declared we are to be this light as well.
"If we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all our sin." 1 John 1:7
Light is a theme carried throughout God's Word.
Perhaps this is why we are drawn to light.
Light is one of my favorite things about Christmas.
Lights on houses.
Lights in store windows.
Light seems to be everywhere during the Christmas season.
I love driving down the main street of our little town at night during this time of year.
The trees lining the street are covered in lights. It feels almost magical.
When Isaiah wrote the words of chapter 60 Israel had just returned from exile.
Their beloved city of Jerusalem lay in shambles.
The temple in ruins.
The whole country was one big mess.
It was a dark time for God's people.
Like the people of Israel, we are living in dark times.
There is a heaviness hovering over our land and many of our lives.
Darkness trying to overcome light.
Gloom attempting to steal gladness.
Fear pursuing faith.
But the Light of God still shines brightly.
Darkness is still light to our God.
He still reigns.
He is still in the business of redeeming those who turn to Him.
And Christmas is still all about the Light coming into a dark world.
In the next few weeks people will be rushing to and fro trying to find the perfect gift for those on their list.
As we join the fray let's arise and shine.
Let's share a smile, a kind word, a helping hand.
Here are three ways we can shine the light of Jesus this Christmas:
1) Be the light in darkness.
Many suffer from depression this time of year.
Most of us can think of at least one person sitting in the darkness of depression.
Reach out to that person.
Let them know you are thinking of them and praying for them.
Ask them: How can I serve you best during this season.
Listen for their answer and then do it! That may look like doing some shopping for them, wrapping presents, or cooking a meal.
Shine the light of Jesus using your hands and feet.
2) Offer gladness instead of gloom.
We will be in public gatherings more this time of year and enviably someone will begin talking gloom and doom. Turn the conversation around by sharing the glad tidings of Jesus with them.
Shine the light of Jesus using your words.
3) Place faith over fear.
Many of the same people talking gloom and doom are speaking that way out of fear. John tells us that perfect loves cast out fear. Love those living in fear by sharing God's perfect love with them.
Shine the light of Jesus using your love.
You know my favorite part about those lights on the trees in our little town?
They don't take them down right after Christmas.
They stay on the trees until February.
During the darkest part of the year they shine brightly.
Those lights remind me to shine the light of Jesus even in the darkest of time - especially in the darkest of times.
In these dark days, let's point others to Jesus, the reason for the season, the Prince of Peace, the Messiah, Immanuel, Light of the World.
Let's shine the light of Jesus this Christmas and into the new year.
Let's LIGHT up the world...
wherever we go in the coming weeks and year!
You are El-Elyon, Creator God. You spoke everything into existence. It is no coincidence that the first words You spoke at creation were: Let there be light.
You shine in a glorious array of brightness. You are light and in You there is no darkness at all. You sent Your light into this dark world and His name is Jesus.
You are the Light of the World. Darkness thought it had won when they laid You in that tomb. Darkness is still putting up a fight. But we know You have victory over darkness. Your light still shines - in and through your people.
We are called to shine for You. But its hard sometimes. The darkness feels so heavy, gloom blankets the earth, and fear runs rampant. Reignite Your light in us. Empower us to shine brightly this Christmas season. May our lives illumine the path to the Babe of Bethlehem for those around us. But don't stop when the lights of Christmas are taken down. No! Help us shine brightly throughout the year so others can find their way to You!
In Jesus' name, Amen.
Your fellow light-barer,
PS: Visit my shop to find some gifts that will shine the light of Jesus into the hearts of those who receive them!