By Orlando Cabrera

So, I have never been a big Christmas exterior lighting type of guy.  I have mad respect for all of you “Clark Griswold” types who light up your house and front lawns so bright that passing planes mistake your home as a landing strip.  Well done. I tip my cap to you.

I do love Christmas lights though and enjoy driving around looking at them as much as the next guy. But once we had kids, they really enjoyed exterior Christmas lights and wanted us to put them up on our home. So, every year I give it my best shot.

I’m grateful that I don’t live in one of those neighborhoods where everyone begins putting up lights in August. Again, no judgement. Where I live, the bar is set pretty low for me which I am grateful for. I’m also grateful that my kids are still young enough to enjoy and appreciate their dad’s feeble efforts at exterior illumination engineering. When we return home in the evening from an outing and the exterior lights are on they just love it. Sheer joy. Conversely, their responses are very different when the “little lights aren’t twinkling” or when something is not working with our display. I get questions and disappointment.

That got me thinking. Christmas lights are great and they do seem to brighten, pardon the pun, the season for many of us, and that’s great. But all the lights of Victoria Park don’t hold a candle to the greatest Christmas light of all, Jesus Christ. He is the light that this dark world of ours is in such need of. He is the illumination that our own sin-filled hearts long for and that the enemy attempts to shield our eyes from seeing (2 Corinthians 4:4). Yet the Father knew how desperately we needed this Light and so He brought it to us in flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.  At times, our world feels like it must have in the days of Isaiah where the prophet stated that “the earth was filled with distress and darkness, gloom and anguish” (Isaiah 8:22). It’s against this backdrop that the Light shines the brightest, the darkness failing to overcome it (John 1:5). 

Jesus is the light of the world. His light shines in our darkness and nothing in all of creation, on earth or under the earth, can overcome it or extinguish it. This Jesus is not only the Light we need but He alone can grant the life we long for. He alone is the One that is strong enough to bridge the chasm of sin that divided us from God. This Jesus, the true Light has come and he gives light to all who believe in Him.

This Christmas, my prayer is that we wouldn’t just stroll through neighborhoods marveling at the wonder of man’s engineering on lighted display, but that we would truly stand in awe of the grace of God who has sent the greatest light of all, Jesus Christ. My prayer is that those of us who have had this light shine into the darkness of our hearts, causing us to declare Him as our, would savor this light and continue to reflect it to others. My prayer is that we, the children of God, would continue like the wise men of old to follow this great Light with full conviction, excitement and desire to worship him; the One who was born in a manger, walked amongst creation, hung on a cross, died and rose again so that we could have eternal life. This is Christmas and this is where our hope, life, light, peace and joy are found, Jesus Christ, the light of the world (John 8:12).