Driving through our neighborhood at this time of the year is an exercise in amateur psychology for me. The Christmas lights decorating each home tells me something of the people who live inside. There are the homes that sparkle with golden color carefully covering rooftops and trees and where wreathes of flawless circles adorn the doors. Then there are homes splashed in combinations of red and green and gold that twinkle around window frames and porch pillars. There are neighbors who took the easy way out and installed one of those lights at the end of the driveway that project colored sparkles all over their house walls. And then, of course, there is the home where every square inch has been blinding us all with lights of many colors and blow up Disney characters since before Thanksgiving.
These then are my neighbors. And yours. For reasons as varied as there are people on this planet, we enter into the fun of the season and we string up lights.
Jesus spoke about lights. He reminded us that we don’t go to all the effort of hanging a light, only to cover it up so that people cannot see it. No, we hang our Christmas lights entirely because we want people to see it. When speaking of lights, Jesus made a profound statement. He said that we are lights. He did not say we should try and be lights or if we do certain things we will be like a light. Nope. He said we are lights. Not only are we lights, we are the kind of lights that light up the whole world. The problem Jesus was addressing was not whether or not we are lights, but whether or not we are covering up the light that we are. He encouraged us to come out from under that basket where we are hiding and shine before each other.
How do we do this? By our good works.
In each one of us are works just waiting to be done. They are simply there. Waiting. Some of the works are seemingly small, like the help we offer a co-worker so they can finish the year strong. Some are more difficult, like the kindness we show to a family member who does not do life the way we think they should. Some are really, really hard – and we all know what those are in our life.
You are a light. Every human on this planet is one. We are the Christmas lights that Jesus has hung. Each one different. Each one unique. We are meant to light up this world of ours – to be a festival of lights giving glory to God in the highest.
Where there is darkness this Christmas season, will you show up and be the light?
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Mathew 5:14-16