Light of Christmas

We see them everywhere.  We see them inside and outside our homes during the Christmas season.  We drive around to see them hanging outside changing the night sky. Young and old, rich and poor, are drawn to these at Christmas time. Lights. Tree lights, candle lights, building lights, flashing lights, lights put to music and lights in the windows. Christmas time twinkles with sparkling, creative and colorful displays of lights.

Now that all the presents are unwrapped, the shopping is done, families have returned home, and the Christmas feasts sit in the refrigerator as leftovers, the lights still remain.  I’m still enjoying the lights.

That’s what Christmas is all about really.  Light.  The prophet Isaiah spoke of this great light– the birth of Jesus, the Son of God:

“The people, who walked in darkness, have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone… For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; …and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:2-6

The story of Christmas is about Light.  John, a follower of Jesus said, “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.” John 1:5

Jesus said about Himself, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” John 12:45  

Yet, many in the world are still in darkness.  They are looking all over for light but can’t find it.  They have tried everything but Jesus.  They may live in an area of the world where they still have not heard of Him.  He is the gift of God who brings forgiveness for our sins, hope, peace, love, and joy.  John said, “God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.  All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.”   (John 3:19 – 20)

As Christmas decorations are being packed away in plastic containers, Christmas candy and cookies are gobbled up, Christmas trees are disposed of on the streets, and all the Christmas blogs have been posted, the Light still remains.  The darkness of winter is settling in outside but the Light of Christmas still shines on in the hearts of those who know the True Light of Christmas – Jesus.  Do you know this Light?  If you do, let Jesus shine through you to the dark world around us, to those who are walking in darkness and need a new direction.  If you don’t know this Light, my prayer is that you come to know Jesus, the true light, and have a new life in the new year.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Thanks to You

“Dear….Thank you for..”  Looking through my box of thank you cards, my children would find just the right one. Diligently, I taught my children the importance of writing thank you notes whenever they received a gift from a relative or friend.  We started with the name and why we were thankful.  Address the card on the outside and there it went through the mail.

Being thankful should be that simple. We address the giver and name the things given.  But it seems people are forgetting the most important part – “Dear…?”  People say they are thankful but to whom?  We say, “I’m just thankful.”  Today in our culture, we are thankful for ourselves, our hard work, our knowledge and decisions that have given us the comforts we enjoy.

King David didn’t forget whom to give thanks.  He was one of the greatest Kings of Israel and yet he knew who to address when giving thanks:

“We give thanks to You, O God. We give thanks for Your name is near.  We recount your wondrous deeds.”  Psalm 75:1

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good…”  Psalm 106:1

We give thanks to God because He gives to us daily.  He takes care of us, feeds us, comforts us, and loves us. But He also gave us the greatest gift ever. Jesus Christ His only Son to give us life. To pay the greatest penalty for our sins.  To be forgiven.

“For God so loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son…”

Thanksgiving Day may be over for the year 2013 but a life of giving thanks to God should be a daily occurrence.  That’s why I wanted to write about giving thanks the week after the official day.

The first fruits of a follower of Jesus Christ should be thanks.  Thanks for the awesome gift of knowing God, the peace of knowing I am forgiven and the joy of being loved all given to us through Jesus.

King David said, “But we your people…will give thanks to You forever, from generation to generation we will recount your praises.”  Psalm 79:13

Today I will give thanks not because of a holiday but because of a person. My thankfulness is addressed to God the Creator, the Giver of all things. I will be like David and share my praises of God with my family, from generation to generation.  I will recount all He has done in my life through Jesus Christ. My list of things to be thankful for starts with God.  Without Him I would be nothing and have nothing.  What has He done for you? What are you thanking God for today? Has your thanksgiving ended because of a holiday or has it just begun?

“The Christian who walks with the Lord and keeps constant communion with Him will see
many reasons for rejoicing and thanksgiving all day long.” Warren Wiersbe