My six-year-old pleaded with me to put the Christmas decorations up a month early. She wanted to play with the “little people” from the lighted Christmas village I display in our kitchen.
When it came time to tackle the task of crawling into our shallow coat closet and shovel out boxes of heavy Christmas decorations, I grumbled. I complained.
I set up the village and got out the lights for it. Each individual bulb is attached to the cord and each bulb is placed in the back of a ceramic building. Yeah, the ones with the plastic/metal clasps that always seem to get stuck inside.
One light on the strand was out. I replaced it. Then the whole strand of lights went out.
So I made a trip to Walmart and bought replacement bulbs. I found a cute little burlap bow to place on top of the miniature tree in our living room.
When I got home I was happy to see how the lights across the counter lit up. The bow on the tree fit just right and matched the new tree skirt perfectly.
I was ironing the red Christmas table cloth when my kids came home from school.
Their sheer joy echoed off the walls as my 8-year-old raced to see the village and my youngest, the one who pleaded with me to get the “people” out, ran upstairs.
I wondered why she didn’t follow her sister to the village. Her sister would get there first. I thought that would bother her.
But when she came downstairs she was dressed in her red velvet Christmas dress from last year. On backwards with the sequined bow in the back. Full of joy and contagious excitement.
“It’s Christmas, Mom!”
I couldn’t help but smile.
Her light was contagious.
Mine was not.
I couldn’t help but think about broken lights.
How I am often the broken light.
The one without joy.
The complaining one.
The grumbling mom who tallies everyone’s messes and records all the work and cleaning up after people I do.
I want my eyes to shine the wonder of Christmas that’s seen in the exuberance of a child unaware of a dress on backwards and the self induced pressures of seasonal stress.
We attend a Christmas Eve service at church every year. They pass out candles and everyone lights the candle of the person next them. Joy igniting joy. Light spreading. The Holy Spirit seems to fill up the room with His glorious light.
It’s when the true meaning of Christmas shines clearly to me. The joy of Christ. The joy of my salvation.
The Bible refers to Jesus, the Holy Spirit and His Word as “the light.”
This sparked my curiosity to do a word study on the word light.
How do we shine the light of our salvation?
How do I prevent myself from becoming that broken light?
Believe in the Saving Light of Jesus Christ
First we must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he died on the cross for our sins and rose again. He is the light of the world. The Bible says that all have gone astray and are in need of a Savior.
We cannot shine the light of Christ if we do not first receive His free gift of salvation. It’s when we receive the precious gift of His Holy Spirit that we are able to live for Him and shine His light.
Don’t Hide Your Light
Our lights can be dimmed by so many things. I know in my own life sin is often the culprit. Anger, selfishness, pride, fear and impatience just to name a few.
Or sometimes we can get so busy with life, we hide our light without even realizing it.
As Christians we have the Holy Spirit that enables us to repent of our sins and show the fruits of the spirit through our actions.
We need to be intentional to let our lights shine. To raise them up like all those candles lighting up the room during the Christmas Eve service.
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 a lamp stand and it gives light to all who are in the house that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV
Isn’t it easiest to be broken lights to those who are closest to us? Our own family members?
Am I a light to all those who are in my own house? Or is it hidden under a pile of laundry and grumpiness?
Do my actions shine light to all those who are in my house? If not, what can I do to change my attitude?
Walk in the Light/Shine the Light
Walking in the light and shining the light go hand in hand.
In order to walk in the light we should be spending time with the Lord, learning His ways and truths and then allowing the Holy Spirit to live through us.
Allowing the Holy Spirit to live through you, is the sanctification process working in you that attracts others to God.
Every Christmas I go to the mall and hunt for a new scent. I love perfume! I’ll spray on scents in different places and walk out of the store with the strong aromas of many perfumes mixed together.
Usually one will stand out. I will sniff all the different scents untilI I find the one that is pleasing to my sense of smell.
And on Christmas when I open it up, I’ll spray it on my wrist and take in it’s flowery hues.
I love 2 Corinthians: 14-15 that says “we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” Is the fragrance of Christ permeating through my actions?
Share the Light
We each have a testimony to share with the world. Our lives should bear witness to a life changed by His grace.
The book of John introduces John as being sent by God to bear witness of the light so that others might believe.
When we share our own testimonies, how God has worked in our lives, we spread the message of salvation.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. John 1: 6-10 NKJV
Sometimes I feel like I’ve just blown it. I’m a hypocrite. I may write this and struggle to shine my light later.
But I’m so thankful that God’s grace and forgiveness is new every morning, every moment in fact.
I’m not bound by the chains of my old behavior patterns. With the power of the Holy Spirit, I can choose to live in the Spirit and not my flesh.
It’s a constant struggle. It’s real. And I fight it every day. I know you do too. And that’s ok. Let’s just continue to remember the wonderful saving grace of Jesus that is alive in us.
I don’t want to be the broken light that dims the light of those around me. And with the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of me, I’m glad I don’t have to. And I’m glad it’s not too late to start shining!
I’m reminded of a song I used to love by Leslie Philips,
It’s not by might, not by power, but by my spirit says the Lord.