Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of year. It's a time for love, a time for cheer (Ok, I won't sing). Seriously, for me, Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ with family. As a little girl, my favorite part of Christmas was looking at all the lights. Every Christmas Eve, we would all pile into my grandmother's car and drive around for hours looking at the lights on homes in the community. Afterwards, we'd go back to my grandparent's house and exchange gifts.
Even though I was eager to see what gifts awaited me, I never wanted to rush looking at the lights. I marveled at all the sights. My papa would always tease me and say things like, "Let's hurry up and get back before that ole' mean sissy (my aunt) steals all the gifts," or "We already had Christmas this year." I always knew he was teasing, but I never tired of the constant banter. My papa is no longer with us but I am reminded of him each year when I see Christmas lights.
Have you ever wondered why we put out lights at Christmas? During the 17th century, Christians in Germany placed a burning candle in the window of their home that would be visible from outside as a way of showing other Christians that theirs was a Christian home. This tradition spread throughout Europe and the candles were later glued onto Christmas trees. After Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, electric lights became all the rage.
I wonder how many of us think of the Light of the World as we look at all the Christmas lights this year. What are we, Christians, doing today to share the Light with the world?
The picture above is from my cousin's home. When I see these lights, I am filled with a thankful heart -- thankful for my Lord and Savior and thankful for my family. This Christmas, spread some Christmas cheer, but even more, spread the hope offered by the Light of the World.