I woke early the morning we left to spend Christmas with family. Grateful for the chance at a quiet morning, I slipped downstairs, turned on the Christmas tree lights, and made a cup of coffee with Peppermint Mocha creamer--a new favorite holiday treat. I settled on the couch to read the last of my Advent Devotional; it was the first time in 27 days I'd been able to read in silence and solitude, and I felt myself relax as the coffee wafted over the words from Matthew.
Not a second before I finished, another word came from on high..."mama! Maaaama!" I reluctantly left my coffee, hoping I could rock him back to sleep. Alas, the wish was in vain. So I gave myself up to my sweet, where-does-he-get-this-energy, almost three year old (!) little boy and carried him downstairs to play. And finish my coffee.
As we walked down the stairs he noticed the tree lights on, and asked in his curious little voice "hey! Why you turn dis light off?" Thinking he meant "on," I explained that I love to look at Christmas tree lights. But he asked again, as I carried him past the overhead light switch. Reaching out to grab it, he repeated "hey, why you turn dis light off?" Instinctively I replied, "because it makes the tree more beautiful."
As long as I can remember, I have loved to sit in a dark room, in the quiet of a Christmas season morning or night, with nothing but the light of a Christmas tree. There is just something about that shining cone that quiets my soul and fills me with peace and joy.
Christmas lights are beautiful, especially when they are the only thing to light the darkness of a room or home. Which is why we have Christmas in the first place. Not to light the darkness that falls as winter begins, but to alighten our souls with God’s love. The anger and selfishness and all manor of sin tucked away inside each of our hearts…this is the darkness we live in. Until, wrapped in a blanket, Jesus brought light to Earth, to shine into the darkest corners of our souls.
We can look pretty on the outside, decorated with shiny ornaments and sitting atop stacks of material blessings, but without the love of God through the gift of Jesus, we will remain dark. Let His love and forgiveness light our hearts and souls this Christmas.