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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Lights (10/30/08)

TITLE: Christmas Lights Shining Bright
By Edmond Ng
11/03/08


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    "THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED." (Matthew 4:16)
According to HowStuffWorks.com, back in about 30 or 40 years ago, people used to decorate their houses and trees with lights using small 120-volt incandescent bulbs. Each of these bulbs was a 5- or 10-watt bulb like the bulb we find in a night light today. If half of all traditional Christmas bulbs were replaced with LED bulbs, it could yield savings of $17 billion a year in energy bills. Incandescent bulbs are therefore no longer common these days because they consume too much power and generate too much heat. With global warming now an area of great concern, it is no wonder alternatives such as LED bulbs are becoming very popular, as they consume less energy and emit less heat.

Long before the electric bulbs were invented and before lightings became a part of the decoration for the festivities during Christmas, there was another light that shone high above the sky to welcome Christmas and to guide the shepherds and wise men to the Christ our Lord, the Emmanuel. It was the light of the star -- the Christmas star. In a song titled ‘Christmas Star’ by John Williams, a stanza in the lyrics states:

    Star light, shine bright
    See me through the dark night
    Light mine, half way;
    Guide me home for Christmas Day
Star light shining bright, what a sight it must have been to see the star of ancient times that guided the way to the Child who is Christ our King! "The people who were sitting in darkness" certainly "saw a great Light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a light dawned" (Matthew 4:16). Jesus is the Light of the world, and "if we walk in the Light as He Himself is the Light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (John 1:7), for we are truly the sons of lights and sons of day, not of night, nor of darkness (1 Thessalonians 5:5).

Christmas lights is therefore all about the Light that shines through us, our Lord and our God Jesus Christ who dwells in us, who is above all lights and the reason for Christmas. Jesus is the Light that brightens every heart, and sees us through the dark, to drown the darkness of all hallows evening and guide us home for Christmas Day.

O what a joy to celebrate Christmas with power, not of lights from electric bulbs, but from the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. This Christmas, let us be the star that guides mankind to our Lord as lights of the world, a city set on a hill which cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14). If we, with our whole body full of light, have no dark parts in us, we shall surely be illumined, not only within us, but also to the world, like the lamp which illumines us with its rays (Luke 11:36). Like the light from the star that guides the shepherds and the wise men, let us as Christmas lights, be God's chosen saints to shine in the darkness and bring forth dawn to the land and shadow of death (Matthew 4:16).

Dear Lord, help us remember we are the lights of the world that should shine and guide people to You. May You use us during this Christmas season to lead people to the full understanding of the reason for Your birth on earth. Empower us, Lord, to shine brightly even in the darkest night, to illuminate not only our surroundings, but also to the people around us, to bring forth light like a lamp with its rays, that all who are lost may see the Light, half way, and be guided home for Christmas Day.


Note: All Scriptural references used in this article are from the New American Standard Bible.


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This article has been read 586 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Carol Shaffron11/09/08
"This Christmas, let us be the star that guides mankind to our Lord as lights of the world, a city set on a hill which cannot be hidden" AMEN and may this be our prayer all year round! Your thoughtful writing captured my rapt attention.
Sharlyn Guthrie11/10/08
Your devotional makes some excellent observations. I especially like this one, "O what a joy to celebrate Christmas with power, not of lights from electric bulbs, but from the Holy Spirit who dwells within us." Personally, I think the first paragraph detracts from the loveliness of the rest of this piece, but that's just my humble opinion.
Celeste Ammirata11/10/08
I also love the line that starts with.....Oh what a joy........ Very powerful words! I agree that the history lesson about Christmas lights is a distraction. But, very nicely done.
Norma-Anne Hough 11/12/08
Nice devotion and interesting history behind the lights. Keep it up.
Norms
Stephanie Craig11/12/08
Nicely written. You captured my attention throughout the piece.