Lights in the darkness

Bethany Rios   -  

Today the sun will set at 4:18PM.
I know, I know. You probably didn’t want to read that information (sorry 🥴).

If it weren’t for the holidays, I’d really struggle to enjoy this time of the year not only because of the cold, but probably more so because of the lack of daylight. I know I’m not the only one who sees a notable difference in their energy levels or disposition as the hours of daylight continue to slowly dwindle. Many develop seasonal affective disorder (seasonal depression) this time of the year, but many of us can agree things just feel ‘off’ when it feels like you should be getting ready for bed and you look over to see the clock only reads 6:30.

However, one thing I love about this time of the year is seeing houses, some extravagant and many much more humble, contributing physical light into the world. Whether they’ve got the full-fledged Christmas-bomb that exploded in their yard or nothing more than candlelit windows, there’s something cheerful and comforting that this one thing brings into the prolonged darkness. For me these lights have begun to serve as a beautiful reminder of how much of a difference even just a small amount of light makes and I love the little bit of joy added to my dusk-y drive home, seeing brightness that wasn’t there before.


“the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.”
Matthew 4:16

There was a point in time where Israel heard nothing new from God for centuries. There were no new promises, no new revelations, nothing. For a group of people without the full Word of God, who were GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE, I can’t imagine how few of them held on to the hope and continued to rejoice in the promises that God had given them about the coming Messiah. I don’t know how long I could have.

 

Then one night, the greatest light shone in the darkness; there was a baby’s cry.

 

God Almighty restricted and humbled Himself into the body of a newborn child and therein that body He would dwell until the day of His crucifixion. True light had come into the world — not to point fingers and condemn, but that the world through Him might be saved. What a joyous thought to comprehend!

“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”   John 12:46

A few plastic lights can add a little cheer into our lives for a month (or two—I’m looking at you, day-after-Halloween decorators!), but how often does the light of Jesus fill you with joy?

I’m afraid that for me, the answer is a lot less often than I’d like. That’s not to say I’m a total grinch (if you know me, you know that just isn’t true!) but it’s easy for me to put on a happy face, a bubbly demeanor, and a big smile, but not have true JOY in Christ.

Will you make it a point with me to ask the Father to fill your heart with gladness and joy of His coming, for more than a month of the year?

My prayer is that as God’s children, our hearts would continually overflow with joy at the thought of the gracious coming of our Savior into the world, and that this joy would beget more joy in the lives of others as they see the light and life of Jesus in you and I!

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