Sunday we had our first measurable snowfall in the Chicago area. It was my favorite kind of snow. Sticky, wet, slowly falling and clinging to the trees. For me it is always the most beautiful part of winter. Fresh snow, beautifully white, bringing for me a sense of stillness and rest.
Because the snow stuck to all the shrubs, I noticed last night how beautiful our Christmas lights looked outside. The snow added a dimension of illumination I had not noticed before. The snow increased the intensity of the lights making them shine brighter than before.
Over the last few weeks, I have come to realize the intensity of God’s love for us. He sent His one and only Son to earth so we can see the light of His love for us in physical form. Jesus, being the embodiment of God, is our living example. He came so we may be set free from our sins and be restored to a relationship with God.
Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. “(John 8:12)
As I looked at the Christmas lights shining brightly last night, I began to reflect on Jesus’ desire for us to come to Him and experience this light that He alone can offer. As we allow His light to shine in our lives, we can begin to experience a delight for daily living even in the midst of our circumstances. We can come and see all He has to offer as we allow His light to illuminate the recesses of our hearts and let Him love upon us. To experience that love He definitely asks us to spend some time in His word, but He also calls us to not hold so tightly to that light for ourselves.
Where do you have the opportunity to shine the light of Jesus’ love? Is there a neighbor who could use a kind word, is there an opportunity to serve at your church, is there a shelter where you could serve a meal?
There are people in our world, in our neighborhoods, our workplace, and even in our families that don’t know about the light that Jesus offers. People who may never have had the opportunity to taste and see in the goodness of the Lord. This free gift of the “light of life” reminds me Jesus is living in me through the Holy Spirit and is asking me to participate in illuminating the darkness in my circle of daily life. He calls each of us to share His love even if it is a small gesture.
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.” (Matthew 5:14-15)
So as you light up your lights outside this Christmas season, ask God to show you where you can share His love with someone who needs an opportunity to taste and see the goodness of the Lord through your act of kindness. Who do you know who needs a note of encouragement, a phone call, or cup of coffee together to experience the love of Christ through you?
Praying God will provide you an opportunity to shine His light today.