No–I am not including pictures of my Christmas lights or my Christmas tree this morning. I don’t have either up yet. Maybe today I will get those done; it is the feast of St. Nicholas, after all! Rather I want to talk about Jesus and us. He is often called the Light of the World. How appropriate, then, that we celebrate His birth in December—when in my part of the world it is dark so early in the evening. His light dispels our darkness, doesn’t it?
He tells us, His followers, “You are the light of the world”. How daunting! He tells us not to hide our light under a bushel basket. The world has, indeed in so many ways, become dark. Yet we can and do light it up. How do we do it? Well, this time of year some of us become extra generous to total strangers, don’t we? We give extra cash, food, and gifts to families or organizations in need. Of course these needs exist year round, but people are especially moved at Christmastime to help.
Beyond that, how are we lights? Well, in our work we are lights when we deal with others and our tasks with joy, honesty, and dedication. If we do this every day, no matter what our stressors, we become lights in our homes and workplaces. This can give others hope and inspire them. This can lighten the hearts of others and draw them to God. We cannot be God. But we can be lights. People need light or they crash into each other. Some of us are candles like little votive candles. Some of us are big, huge lights like the light from a lighthouse. Sometimes we may think we are merely tiny votive candles; but to someone else feeling especially down and lost, we may be a beacon of hope in his/her darkness.
Perhaps that is one of the reasons that Christmas lights on houses, bushes and on the Christmas trees bring us such joy. We may not realize it, but they light our way like God does. He dispels our darkness. He calls us, His followers, to do the same. We must! Don’t say you can’t or you don’t have the strength. We don’t need to have or rely on our own strength—we have His. He is the light within each of us. All we have to do is let it shine through us–our thoughts, words, and deeds….That is how we become the light of the world Jesus wants us to be.
In keeping with that theme: here is my sketch of a light :-). Be brave. Be courageous. Be the light!!! The world needs a lot of light these days.