Christmas is here! It’s a wonder-filled scene to see all the twinkling lights: on the trees, on the houses, and decorating the churches. These small little lights play a big part in the celebration both visually as well as in meaning.
Our modern age forgets what it’s like to live by the light of the sun. Since the dawn of man, most work was completed during daylight hours, which in the summer was plenty of time, yet in the winter, the short amount of daylight limited what work could be completed. The ability to create and somewhat manage fire helped to extend the day, but firelight is not as illuminating as daylight, even on a cloudy day. Man adapted to a way of life lived by the sun during the day and the moon and stars at night. The passage of time could be identified by the phase of the moon and the constellations in the night sky. As man began to travel, these heavenly luminaries would guide his way consistently.
A new twinkling light in the night’s sky was noticed, probably by most people, not just the three travelers, or magi, who visited Jesus. The difference is that they studied the meaning of this new light and found it to be the announcement of a royal birth. These men have been called wise men, and indeed, that is a title that suits them and salutes the action they took upon learning what the rising star meant. They didn’t have to travel the distance to visit the baby, they could have sent an envoy. Or they could have just ignored it, since the baby was a foreigner to them, a person who would be of no consequence to them. But they opened themselves up to encounter God and they were changed because of it.
All these tiny lights at Christmas remind us that we are to reflect the light of Jesus to others. We are like the thousands of little twinkling lights in the night sky in comparison to the main light of Christ. Our lights form spiritual constellations for others to find their way to Jesus. Our light is transformative, not because of who we are, but that we allow ourselves to be transformed by the Light of the world. Without the convenience of electric lights, the world in winter would be a very dark place. Christmas is the celebration of the light of little baby Jesus coming into the world to lead us out of the darkness of the winter night and into a world of hope, light, warmth, and love. May the spirit of Christmas inspire you to twinkle and share your light with those around you.