Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12 (ESV)
When I was a child living in a native community, we celebrated Christmas much the same way as most people. We would cut a tree down, take it home, and then decorate the tree appropriately with tinsel, lights, and a variety of decorative balls. It was always exciting. But even though we celebrated Christmas, I never quite grasped the connection between Jesus’ birth and gifts, decorations, and lights on a tree.
It wasn’t until a few years later, after I had experienced salvation at a Billy Graham meeting, that I began to comprehend that the birth of Jesus was about God giving us the gift of His Son, the ultimate gift of light for our dark- ness.
As I grew in my understanding, I began to realize that what God was doing in my life through His Son was to reconcile me with the Father, and the Father with me. I was now a child of God because Jesus had bestowed upon me His righteousness. He did this through His willingness to suffer on the tree, that was His cross. Now when I see a Christmas tree, I think of the cross Jesus bore for me. And when I look at the lights, I think of light for my darkness. And in the gifts exchanged, I see God’s gift of salvation in Jesus.
My response to His light is to seek to live a life that reflects His light to the world. May you also walk in His light as you celebrate His coming into the world to provide light for our darkness.
Dear God, You sent your Son to be our Light. Enable us, through your Holy Spirit, to reflect the light of Jesus to the world around us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Rev. Dr. Don Johnson (Makah), Hudson, Wisconsin