Growing up, Christmas lights were my favorite part of Christmas decorations. To be honest, they still are. I blame my dad.
Every year my dad would decorate the tree, okay, trees—and string every single one until they were heavy laden with strand after strand of lights. Crammed in and around the lights were the ornaments. Each tree would have its own theme/story, such as displaying all of our homemade ornaments we’d made over the years, or a little whimsical tree filled with ruby red cardinals paired with white churches. The biggest tree went right in the window where it would shine bright for EVERYONE to see.
My dad’s “tree joy” was contagious. He would sing carols and make cider or hot cocoa while letting us “help” decorate ...even though while we were sleeping he would totally just move the ornaments around to where he thought they would look best. In his own way, he invited us to share his joy. Our house would light up the street and shine brightly for all of our neighbors to enjoy.
Just like my dad’s Christmas trees, we all have our own light and our own story. In Matthew 5, Jesus says we, as followers, should be the light of the world. He says that we should be a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” – Matthew 5:14 (ESV)
I think of my dad’s Christmas trees when I picture this verse in my mind. I think of the Christmas lights that would illuminate our house so it would be clearly seen from down the street. Like my parents’ house, the light of our faith should not be for our benefit only. We can combine our light to become that city on the hill.
This year, so many people are living in darkness and need to receive some of that light. They need to hear the gospel and the GREAT news of Jesus’ birth. They need to know that we choose worship, and that we will continue to praise His name even during the times we are in.
At times, it feels like the darkness and loneliness of 2020 was/is more contagious than COVID-19. Many people are fearful, anxious, and dreading their own “what ifs”—but we can share our light with prayers, cards, phone calls, gifts—any touch of love.
Instead of keeping the light of our faith to ourselves this season, let us spread that light and joy.
Let’s choose to be the city on the hill this Christmas.