There’s something wonderfully calming and restorative about the Advent season, the time of waiting for the Promise, the time of anticipation of great celebration. We’ve enjoyed the fun of decorating the tree and house for Christmas–mostly. Like most everything else in my life, I haven’t finished doing it yet. I’ve got great ideas of what it might look like. Might being the operative word because there is an excellent chance it will not happen. It will most assuredly not happen the way I’d like it to. But I digress.
We were sitting in the family room, the lights glittering on the tree, the smell of pine mingled with scent of the bunny cage. A football game was on, but the sound was muted. And it was peaceful.
And then the tree lights blinked out.
I thought the dog or the bunny might have gotten behind the tree and loosened the cord. It wasn’t that. I thought it might have been a short in the circuit, and all it needed was a flip of a switch. It wasn’t that. I thought someone might have bumped into the light switch that turned them on and off. It wasn’t that.
My oldest grandson, Ethan made the comment, “It doesn’t look as good without lights, does it?”
He’s right. The lights make the tree.
Later on, I sat in the dark, looking at the lightless tree, and I saw myself. Not that I’m a tree or that I run around bejeweled with lights, but in many ways, I am that tree. I can try and look my best, with all my ornamentation, making my outside as attractive as possible. But without light–without His light–I’m just a dark and dreary tree. No authentic life.
“In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” John 1:4-5
Jesus is the light of Christmas. He is the light of all life. I find that I get caught up in the picture postcard of what Christmas should look like. That isn’t the real reason for Christmas–not the appearance of good will, not the look of generosity, not the abundance of gifts or decorations. True life change happens when someone invites the true Light into their lives. Jesus’ light transforms me from the inside out.
We found out that one of the many strings of lights on our tree just didn’t work. One small string of lights kept all the others from shining. When we found it and removed it, the tree lit up.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could as easily remove that which keeps us from living with genuine light and life? If we could plug in to a Source that was sure and would never short out?
That’s what Christmas really is. Jesus came to show us where and how to plug into true light. His light.