Part of me prefers to keep lights used to welcome Christmas up and lit the entire year, for once we welcome the light of Christ into our lives, that light should always shine. Thus keeping Christmas lights up and lit would show that Christ remains alive in our hearts. Lights adorning a home would boldly announce the presence of a disciple of Christ, someone who would welcome a stranger.
Imagine entire communities striving to live every day of every year, shining the light of Christ in how they live as brightly as a yard full of Christmas trees.
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’
— Matthew 25:34-36 (NRSV)
On the other hand, we need a time between holidays, ordinary time in the jargon of the Church liturgy, so that the holidays are indeed special times. For people, like the flowers of the field, fade and need fresh reminders of the glory of Christ’s light.
Thus again this Christmas eve I hope and pray that after lighting candles together at midnight we will carefully carry not merely lit candles home, but we will carefully carry the light of Christ out into our communities, reminding one another of the best of what the Kingdom of God calls us to do and to be.
How do you remind yourself throughout the year of the light of Christ?