A bright light

As I sit here drinking coffee hundreds of colorful lights brighten the room. Instead of writing in my beloved study corner I am drawn to the living room by the tree. While the strings of lights seem quite dim during the day, the lights shine brightly in the predawn morning.

I love Christmas!

I love our Christmas tree!

I love even more that our two boys sleep in their childhood rooms.

(I pray for our daughter and son-in-law who live closest but are unable to be with us due to sickness)

Sitting in the dark enjoying the lights brought to mind an Old Testament prophecy about Jesus. Isaiah spoke of the area of Galilee for though humbled in his day he knew a bright future awaited-

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.” Isaiah 9:2

Many references to the birth and ministry of Jesus are made in chapter 9, verses like

“For unto a child is born, to us a son is given…” Isaiah 9:6

With the birth of Jesus came a bright light into our world. Within each Christian the light still shines. Yet just like my tree, the lights shine brightest in the dark.

Earlier I thanked God for my family and how most of us are together. A quick look back over the year reminds me of some dark valleys but those have been my moments to shine brightly, or at least they should have been.

Two moments from the last week come to mind. One I shined Christ and the other not so much.

I’ll begin with Monday evening. Before going to see the new Star Wars movie, we stopped at Wal-Mart for a few items. I know, insanity! Lines were long and time was short. I tried to be direct and not rude when I asked our checker to finish with our items before running over again to help another clerk. That sounds even worse on paper! My light was pretty dim then.

Yesterday the doctor my son must see was backed up. Two hours in the waiting room and another 30 minutes in the room before we saw the one he needed to see. We took it in stride and tried to be a blessing to the over-stressed staff. The light was much brighter yesterday.

Lord Jesus, thank you for being the great light to those in Galilee and for being the light that shines in me. I want to better shed your light in our dark world that so desperately needs it. Keep working in me to change my selfish self so you can shine through me more effectively. The doctor’s staff thanked us multiple times for being patient and kind; I doubt the Wal-Mart clerk felt the same. Help me, Lord, to be more consistent in loving people and not so concerned with the insignificant things like getting to a movie on time.

Help me keep my focus on the joy and true meaning of Christmas this weekend so you shine brightly through me. Amen

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