Last week I kicked off a series of Christmas posts where we look for Christ in some of our more popular Christmas traditions. The first post was about how Christmas cookies relate to Jesus and the Christian life. This week we will take a look at a tradition that more obviously displays Christ: Christmas lights.
Why we Love Christmas Lights
They are Beautiful. God made us to enjoy beauty. We are attracted to beautiful things. So when we see hundreds, or thousands, of colored lights strung up in creative ways and shining brightly, we can’t help but look with pleasure.
They are accessible. Most everywhere in the Untied States offers some free Christmas light display somewhere. Which means pretty much anyone can enjoy some lights, even if they simply drive up and down the neighborhood streets.
They are Light. This is extremely obvious but it is the main reason we love them. They shine in the darkness. They provide a point of reference for us at night. We like light because it makes the dark seem less scary. They create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
This tradition is probably the easiest to connect to Christ. But it’s also the easy connection that we tend to miss the most. With that being said, what do Christmas light have to do with Christ?
The Light of the World
He is the Light. . One of my favorite things to do during Christmas time is to, at night, turn off all the lights except for the Christmas lights, and just bask in their glow. Why do I enjoy this? Because the light, when contrasted with the darkness is extra beautiful. It’s warm and inviting. Like I said this is the most obvious connection to Jesus. In John 9:5 He said, I am the light of the world. He said this because He was, in fact, the complete opposite of this world. He stood out in the sinful darkness that makes up the human race.
His Love is Attractive. In Matthew 7 Jesus uses various word pictures to describe the love of the Father. He talks about how this loving Father provides for his children. And this is something we all crave. We all want affection. We want to be cared for and when someone does provide those things, they become more attractive to us. So just like we are attracted to the gleam and glow of Christmas lights, we are more attracted by the love of God when we see it.
He is accessible. If you live in the United States, chances are you live need a free Christmas light show. So many people enjoy free light shows simply because they are free. They are available to pretty much everyone. Just like Jesus. Romans 10:9 tells us that “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” This applies to everyone. Everyone who confesses Jesus as their savior and Lord will indeed be saved and will be able to freely approach the throne of God.
One Major Difference
There is major flaw in this comparison between Jesus and Christmas lights and it’s this: Christmas lights fail. Jesus NEVER does. 6 years ago, Paul and I bought our first Christmas tree. It was a pre-lit one and it was absolutely perfect. But after a couple of years, the lights started going out so I had to buy lights to manually string on. The point is, my tree lights failed. They stopped working. They don’t shine anymore. But Jesus will always shine. He will always be there and will always stand out in this dark world.
So later, when you look at your Christmas tree, or go out to see light displays, remember that we serve a love and beautiful savior who will never fail us and gives us the ability to shine in this dark world.