3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness…14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was…they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
I John 1:7
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, [cleanses] purifies us from all sin.”
God saw right from the beginning in Genesis that light made our world as different as night and day and he filled the night with lights. If you’ve ever stood outside looking up at the stars in the clear night sky you see the wisdom of what God was thinking. Those stars have attracted our attention and marked many days and years.
That’s got to be why He used one of them to mark a sacred time that would make our world as different as night and day for a second time…the birth of Jesus. Light has been a part of Christmas right from that long-ago time as that special star led the wise men to the cradle. I think God is still using light to catch our attention this Advent.
Lights are a beautiful addition to Christmas. They fill public spaces and our homes. Our first impulse, at this time of year, when darkness comes early and stays late is to plug in the Christmas lights first thing in the evening and again in the morning. It’s our attempt to replace that darkness and fill our space with beauty. That desire could be one way God uses our Christmas lights to remind us of another Light coming into the darkness. I know one thing for certain: the house is noticeably empty looking when those signs of Christmas are packed away for another year.
We learned a chorus a long time ago that was almost a verbatim quote of I John 1:7. It was written by Mark Yasuhara of the Hawaiians, who believed adding music to Scripture was a perfect way for people to memorize it. He was right. The music is still in my head for John’s words as I read them this year. We walk in the light of the Scripture following its signs to the cradle to give our gifts. It’s a cradle that’s All About Light: a Light that promises we don’t have to settle for darkness even when Advent is over and our beautiful Christmas lights are gone.