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Light in the darkness

By Randy Garrison 

This past weekend Lynn and I, along with our dog Blue, spent a few hours riding around our city looking and admiring the Christmas lights and decorations on homes. From simple wreaths on windows to twinkling white lights and elaborate decorations, folks in Hartselle have caught the Christmas spirit.  

It is such an enjoyable time to ride through neighborhoods and down streets and roads and really get caught up in the warmth of the season. 

Even on the darkest street, Christmas lights have a way of illuminating the night and bringing a sense of warmth and light to a home. While I am a fan of basic white lights, even the multi-color lights give off lots of light and improve even the dreariest of winter evenings. 

While many might think the lights have nothing to do with why we celebrate Christmas, I am going to disagree with that thought.  

I believe we can take many of our Christmas traditions and see how they point to and celebrate the birth of our Savior. 

Going back to the night Jesus was born, the shepherds were watching their flocks by night, and suddenly a great light appeared, and an angel of the Lord announced the birth of the Savior, Christ the Lord, in the City of David.  

The glory of the Lord shone brightly around the shepherds, and they were frightened. In the darkness of night, His glory shone brightly. 

All throughout the New Testament, the darkness being expelled by light – Jesus – can be found over and over. 

Matthew 4:16 says, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.” John 1:5 say the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. 

John 8:12 says, “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life. 

2 Corinthians 4:6 says, “For God, who said, Let there be light in the darkness, has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. 

1 John 1:5 says, “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 

Yes, Jesus is the light of the world, and the light He brought will take us out of the darkness of night into the hope and light of a new day – and one day, a new dawn. 

The lights of Christmas remind me each year of the coming of our Savior, the peace He brought and the light He brought into the darkest of nights.  

His light will not be extinguished, and the peace He brought will be ours for the asking. No matter how dark our lives become, His light beckons us to seek Him. 

Even after a dark and stormy night, nights, days or even months that seem to last forever, the dawning of a new day brings hope and joy. “Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning,” as it says in Psalm 30:5. 

Jesus is our hope and joy, and the Christmas lights seem to remind us of the gift God gave us on that dark winter’s night more than 2,000 years ago. 

Just like the words to a childhood song, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,” may the lights of Christmas warm your heart as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Savior.