Artificial Light

christmas trashThe long, long commercial Christmas season has finally passed. Crass and gaudy light displays on private dwellings and business establishments have been taken down. Our eyes can begin once more to see things as they are. Originally the lights of Christmas were to symbolize the light of Bethlehem’s Star that signaled the birth of the Savior. With the passing years, artificial lights surrounding the Holidays dominate the nights but there is little, if any, connection to the Christ Child. The displays are mainly intended to attract shoppers and to entertain.

As the faux light of Christmas fades, the stark reality of bills, credit card debt, and spiritual darkness come back into focus. The artificial lights may illuminate the surface, but do not penetrate into the inner person. The darkness of a fallen world remains. The long nights for lost souls persists after the imitation light has disappeared. “If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness” (Matthew 6:23). We should not be surprised that so many are distracted and deceived by false light. “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14, NIV).

The glorious message of Christ’s birth was this: “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him” (John 1:9-10, NIV). The true light was Jesus. “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5).

Followers of Jesus have been given a charge to keep. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16, NIV). We, like the Apostle Paul, have a responsibility to the lost, to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins…” (Acts 26:18, NIV).

Prayer: Lord, as the artificial light of the season fades, may we be your true ‘light’ in this dark world.

~ Brother Roy

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