Every Christmas Eve, my family heads over to church to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is a special time. The best moment of all is when they turn all the lights off; then, as one candle is lit, and then passed on, the room begins to glow. It is beautiful, and it reminds us of how far God’s love can go as it is passed from person to person. Jesus truly is the light of the world!
As special as this candle lighting ceremony is, it is so easy to forget during the rest of the year. How often do we really think about how powerful God’s light is? It is not small and fragile like a candlewick that can easily be snuffed out. No, it is more like the sun, which has enough power and reach to illuminate planets hundreds of millions of miles away.
When I was camping recently, I was struck at just how important light is to our lives. Sitting in our tent, in pitch-black darkness, I could hear packs of coyotes yipping and howling. At times they seemed far away, but other times, they sounded way too close for comfort. The bathhouse was a five-minute walk down a wooded trail, but I was not prepared to venture out into the darkness, unsure of what dangers might be lurking there.
My husband was more prepared than I. He wasn’t relying on a tiny cellphone flashlight. He had a more powerful torch that cut through the darkness, illuminating the path ahead. With him – and his light – at my side, I had nothing to fear. The dangers were not as close as I thought they were, and as long as we could see, we were empowered to defend against any foes we might encounter.
Too often in life, we are blinded by the darkness of the world. We allow ourselves to be sucked into the abyss of fear and trepidation, temptation and sin. When we remember God is by our side, we can tap into His light. He illuminates our path, giving us peace; and in His light, our unseen enemies flee. When we lean into God’s light, darkness loses its power, and we can clearly see the path God has laid out for our lives.
“You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light.” – 2 Samuel 22:29
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” – Psalm 119:105
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” – John 8:12