Pages

Thursday, December 3, 2015

And then there was Light!





It's that time of year...the time of year when I get asked the same question over and over and over again, "What do you want for Christmas?"

This morning as I was rummaging through my stack of Advent devotionals wondering which one to use this year, two questions kept running through my mind...

"My daughter, what do you want this Christmas? What is your heart's desire?" 

And that made me stop. And lean back. And stare out the window at the nativity on our deck and the golden ornaments swaying in the breeze high above it.

What is my heart's desire?

I want those I love who do not know You to find their hope and joy in You this year...not in the transient things of this world.

I want the lonely to be embraced. Acknowledged. Known.

I want the hungry to be fed...not only physical but spiritual food...food that lasts not just for a day, but for all eternity.

And a million other things...

But what I want most is You...and for the world to see You in the midst of all the hustle and bustle, glitter and decorations, noise and fervor.

Christ in Christmas.

That is my heart's desire...To know You and make You known.

But how, Lord?

My aching, eager heart leaned forward to hear His reply...

"The people in darkness have seen a great Light.

I Am the Light. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

You are the light of the world.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.

And the darkness has never overcome the Light."

Wow.

You. Me. Shining in the darkness...

Shining into the lives of lost people...lonely people...people who don't have the hope that Christ brings.

People all around us.

There are a lot of lights shining right now...glittering and sparkling and lighting up the nights.

From the all-out-brilliance of Rockefeller Center in New York City to the humblest of trees on a simple night stand in a nursing home...


Bringing forth ooh's and aah's as they dazzle the senses, delighting young and old alike.

But those are not the lights Jesus was talking about. Not at all.

You see, the lights of the world shine for just a moment in time...

And then they will flicker and be gone. Forever.



I don't know about you, but I so easily forget what one light can do to the darkness...

What one life can do when it shines the Light.

The holiday season can make us feel like we are never enough...can never do enough...give enough.

But Jesus has a different message...and that's the one we need to listen to...

"The people in darkness have seen a great Light.

I Am the Light. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

You are the light of the world.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.

And the darkness has never overcome the Light."

Light. The greatest gift you and I can ever give.

It costs us so little...

But it cost Him everything.

Christ in Christmas.

The gift for all men.

Through you. Through me.



In the beginning was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him not even one thing was made that has come into being. In Him was life and the power to bestow life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it.

There came a man commissioned and sent from God, whose name was John. This man came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe in Christ, the Light through him. John was not the Light, but came to testify about the Light.

There it was—the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens everyone. 10 He (Christ) was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him.11 He came to that which was His own that which belonged to Him—His world, His creation, His possession, and those who were His own did not receive and welcome Him. 12 But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the right to become children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name— 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; and we saw His glory, glory as belongs to the One and only begotten Son of the Father,  full of grace and truth. 











candle photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/58584657@N08/5907614984">Day 89/365. The light will eventually reach you !</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>

Rockefeller Center photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/69434422@N00/15735380548">Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit Wednesday. My photo of it from last year.</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>

darkness photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/130564111@N05/16268548776">One with darkness</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>

darkroom photo photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/130564111@N05/16268548776">One with darkness</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>
























This morning I spent some time rummaging through a stack of Advent devotionals to find the one that would "fit" this year.

From CS Lewis to Henri Nouwen, Saint Francis of Asissi to Max Lucado, I have accumulated a smorgasbord of devotionals...