Christmas is past for this year, but like so many others, I LOVE the Christmas Season! I love the spirit of giving, the spirit of sharing and what seems to be a truce from the feelings of frustration, bitterness and anger. As a majority, people seem to be more open to greetings and handshakes, whereas aside from this season, people are more recalcitrant and withdrawn.
Now I know that during the holiday seasons, depression is usually on the rise, suicides increase and some just can’t seem to shake off the loneliness. To top that off, the commercialism that permeates this time of year can be so mind-numbing; but that attitude of buy, buy, buy is the world’s view of the Christmas Season.
I and my wife have been married for forty-two plus years and we are both hopeless romantics and we love the Christmas movies that begin on the Hallmark channels around the beginning of November. Now, I’m not trying to sell you on a specific television channel or any particular genre of movies etc., but what I am trying to tell you is that there is a positive and beautiful message that pervades these shows and it gets me so in the mood for the season. My adult kids think their mom and I are hopeless!
But Christmas time DOES inspire me. Unlike so many that just can’t wait until it is over so they can get back to their routines, the Spirit of Christmas frees my mind and inspires me in the things of the Lord. But what does Christmas have to do with where a person’s spiritual light shines, you might be asking?
Well, let me lay a foundation of thought based on how different people choose to show their thoughts on this holiday season. There are those who love the Christmas tree and are proud to display it in their homes full of decorations and lights. If they have a mantle, and even if they don’t, they put their stockings up with pomp and circumstance. But they decorate the inside and may choose not to display anything on the outside, choosing to keep the spirit of the Season on a strictly personal level.
Then of course you have those that go all out to not only decorate the inside of their homes, but with lights and trimming on the outside, allowing all who pass by to share in the celebration spirit that they have for the holidays in a very public way.
Now you might think this is the very commercialism that I say I don’t care for, but the truth of the matter, this is NOT what I mean about commercialism. See, those that have a desire to share with their community their love for the season by this type of display, bring happiness and joy to those that also love the season and for those that are burdened with doubts, fear and uncertainty, these types of display have a special way of “brightening” their days. It’s easy to get into the “spirit” with that kind of beauty displayed for all to see. Haven’t you ever loaded the kids into the car and made the tour of the neighborhood lights, all for the sake of the beauty and wonder of it all?
So, what’s the connection? What am I trying to say with these examples? Well, believe it or not, this is not an expose on Christmas, but as always, the Holy Spirit knows what inspiration is necessary to illuminate a message.
So here is what the Word of God gives us as a foundation; Matthew 5:14-16, “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 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.” Also read, Luke 8:16, Luke 11:33, John 5:35, John 8:12, John 9:5 and John 12:46.
In 2Corinthians 4:6, Paul confirms, “For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” And he goes on to state in several verses of Ephesians 5, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light,” verse 8, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them,” verse 11, and finally, “But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light,” verse 13.
Have you ever noticed how just a little light in a very dark place illuminates a big spot in relation to the dark? For instance, go into a darkened room with no windows or other source allowing light to flow in or escape out. Strike a match and see how far that little flickering flame can go. If you really stop and think about this and not just take it for granted, you will realize just how important even the smallest flame of light can be and how much illumination it provides.