Christmas lights

Christmas lights

O LORD, you are my lamp. The LORD lights up my darkness. – 2 Samuel 22:29

Philippians 2:12-16

 12 Dear friends . . .. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.

 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

 14 Do everything without complaining and arguing,

 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.

 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.

A Christmas tradition was born in Rodgers Forge, Maryland, in the winter of 2021. It grew out of an act of kindness and a single string of lights. Matt Riggs knew his neighbor across the street, Kim Morton, was dealing with difficult times and suffering from anxiety and depression amid the pandemic. In November 2020, Riggs decided to hang a simple strand of white lights from his home to hers.

“I was reaching out to Kim to literally brighten her world,” Riggs told The Washington Post. While this was meant to lift Morton’s spirits, it ended up inspiring several other people as well. In the days that followed Riggs’s light-hanging gesture, neighbor after neighbor followed suit, stretching lines of Christmas lights from one side of the street to the other. “Little by little, the whole neighborhood starting doing it,” Morton said.

Soon, the street was transformed, with lights gracefully stretching across the road from house to house, including one strand that spelled out “Love Lives Here.” More than 75% of the neighborhood got involved. Morton said, “The lights were a physical sign of connection and love.” The neighbors decided this would be a new annual tradition. They kept their word, and in late November 2021, the neighbors started decorating for year two of their new tradition.

Matt Riggs, seeing his neighbors adopt his idea, said it “genuinely brought tears to my eyes,” Riggs continued. “From such a humble beginning, a tiny little act, it became this event” (The Washington Post).

We are fallen people living in a fallen world. Because of His love the Father wanted to connect with people and bring light into their lives. The Father sent His Son into our dark fallen world to be the light of the world and provide life.

Isaiah 49:6 The Lord says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”

John 1:4-9

 4 In him was life, and his life brought light to everyone.

 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

 6 God sent a man, John the Baptist,

 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony.

 8 John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light.

 9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

The light of life dispels the darkness of ignorance and death. The Lord Jesus Christ was claiming that whoever believes in Him will enjoy the light that comes from God’s presence and produces life (Constable).

REFLECT & PRAY

Psalms 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The LORD protects my life! I am afraid of no one!

Father thank You that You sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world as the light that gives life. Enable me to reflect His light.

INSIGHT

The narrative found in John 8:12-20 takes place during the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles or Booths (John 7:2). On the first day of this festival, a lamp-lighting ceremony was performed called the Illumination of the Temple. Four large, tall menorahs (candelabra) were lit. The light from their flames was reported to be as high as the tallest walls of the temple. The brightness of their light illumined the whole temple and much of Jerusalem. It was spectacular! It was one of the most joyful occasions of the Jewish year (Constable).

All night long, the holiest men in Israel would sing Psalms of praise and joy. They would dance before the Lord in exuberant celebration. In this context, the Lord Jesus Christ declared to the people, “I am the light of the world.” How poignant and dramatic. “There would scarcely be a more dramatic way to announce one of the supreme realities of Jesus’ existence. What a way to focus people’s attention on one of the truths they needed to understand!” (Hughes).

John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

The Lord Jesus Christ is the light of the world. He offers light to all. The phrase I am the light of the world is often rendered as “I am the one who gives light to people in the world” or “I am the one who causes light for people of the world” (UBS). What does His light do? It is the light of life, that is life-bringing light. The Lord Jesus Christ is “the light that gives life” or “the light that leads to life” (UBS). In some languages, the light of life may be rendered “the light that causes people to really live” or “the light that shows people how they may live” (UBS).

The Father has reached out to the people of planet Earth not merely to brighten our world and lift our spirits, but also to offer light and truth that lead to eternal life.

We are to allow His light to shine forth through us as a reflection of His light within that draws attention to Him.

Matthew 5:14-16

 14 You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.

 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.

 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

We have the light. We are to let it shine.

Harold Dixon Loes was an American gospel songwriter. He wrote the lyrics for 1500 gospel songs, and composed 3000 tunes. He wrote This Little Light of Mine early in the 20th century.

This Little Light of Mine

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,

let it shine, let it shine, oh let it shine.

Ev’rywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine.

Ev’rywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine.

Ev’rywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine,

let it shine, let it shine, oh let it shine.

Jesus gave it to me, I’m gonna let it shine.

Jesus gave it to me, I’m gonna let it shine.

Jesus gave it to me, I’m gonna let it shine,

let it shine, let it shine, oh let it shine.

¯\_()_/¯

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