The Light of the World Brings Hope at Christmas
Don’t you just love this time of year? As soon as the turkey is cold, many people rush to the attic for the red and green boxes full of Christmas decorations. They tack lights to the eaves of their house and hang treasured ornaments on the branches of pine-scented trees. The smell of cinnamon and sugar plums rise from strategically placed candles. Ceramic Baby Jesus rests safely in an heirloom nativity on the entry table representing hope at Christmas.
Christmas decorating is not my specialty. My Christmas Pinterest board intimidates me. For starters, my house is small, leaving just enough room for a skinny Alpine tree, the kind usually found in groups of three because they are so puny. I don’t have a lot of surface area available for displays of Christmas villages and treasured nativities. We hang our favorite ornaments, set out the Fisher Price nativity, and call it a day.
This year, however, I got a vision while staring at my 1970’s fireplace. Large, dark gray stones are held in place by charcoal-colored mortar. The mantel piece is a dusty beam as dark as coffee. Since the chimney hasn’t been swept in our five years of residency, the fireplace is empty, void of any life (except maybe the unwelcome eight-legged variety).
My dark fireplace is a good representation of the condition of my heart. I feel the heaviness of the dark stones. I sense the cold of the empty firebox. Cobwebs of past hurts cling to the corners. Left untouched, I am without light, life, and hope.
I need light. I am desperate for hope.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them a light has shown. (Is. 9:2, ESV)
Jesus, the Light of the World, has come. He comes on beams of light, bringing hope to the darkness.
This is the message of the candle shining in the window and the star atop the tree. Hope calls out from the lights strung from rooftops making bright what was once lost in darkness.
When light is present, darkness cannot win. The glimmer of hope in our hearts means despair cannot get a foothold. Because of Jesus, sin and death are defeated.
The solution for darkness is light. The fix for our hearts is the hope Jesus brought with him to Bethlehem and fulfilled on the cross. With Christ, there is always hope.
I need this Advent season like a wildfire needs rain. The only cure for my dark heart is the One who brings light. The only answer for our hopelessness is Christ—the One who came and will come again.
The vision for my fireplace involves all things light—white containers, white branches, white candles, white lights. I want to break up the heavy stone with softness and fill the dark corners with light. It is quite a task for this decorating-challenged chick, but beauty waits on the other side of the effort.
What do you need this Christmas season? Whatever it is, that’s why Jesus came. He is our hope, our promise, our peace, our healing, our love, and our redemption. When the glimmer of Christmas lights catch your eye in the coming weeks, let that be a sign to you—a sign of hope for all that is and all that will be.