Light In the Darkness

 

My journal rests forgotten on my lap, pen poised without words to record. I am mesmerized by light as flames dance in the fireplace, flickering into the shadows of a room otherwise lit only by Christmas lights.

I’m not sure if there’s anything scientific about our fascination with light. I know in winter there are people who suffer from S.A.D., Seasonal Affected Disorder, a form of depression that improves significantly with exposure to sunlight or other bright light. I wonder if there’s any connection between the winter solstice and people’s desire to brighten their homes and neighbourhoods with an abundance of lights at Christmas.

Around here there are festive lights outside and in – little twinkle lights in greenery on mantels, windowsills, and above the kitchen cupboards, and LED lights on the tree. Outside there are more along the roofline, around the front door, and wound round and round the railings on the back deck. I love the twinkle and glow of lights at Christmastime. They turn the ordinary into something magical, especially in the snow.

(These pictures are of Christmas 2008… the year of our “big snow”.)

Each Sunday in our church a child comes forward at the beginning of the service and lights a candle. “Jesus is the light of the world,” he says before we begin our worship.

The image of light recurs in scripture frequently – Jesus said that he is the light of the world and those that follow him will not walk in darkness but have the light of life; he tells us that we are also to be lights in the world, shining so that others may see God reflected in us and give him glory.

These aren’t new revelations, but at Christmas time we see them more clearly because we are focused on Jesus, on how and why he came to us. At Christmas time we surround ourselves with light as a reminder that he whose birth we celebrate came as a light into our darkness. It isn’t magic. It’s the Gospel.

In the glow of firelight I return to my writing, remembering why I love Christmas lights.

John 8:12,  Matthew 5:14,  Philippians 2:15,  John 12:46

~

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12 thoughts on “Light In the Darkness

  1. joylene says:

    Beautiful words, Carol. And so poignant. I miss the sun even though most days I’m walking around my own house with sunglasses on. Sun reflecting off the water sometimes blinds me. Now isn’t that curious? LOL. But without light I stumble often, bang my shins, and even fall. I saw a blind woman in the mall this week, and she moved confidently. Your post and the sight of that woman’s confidence leaves me speculating that life isn’t much without faith. Thanks!

    • Joylene - You’ll probably have more sunshine in your area than we do on the south coast, but the cold and snow of winter last so much longer. I’m not sure about that tradeoff. Then again, I don’t have to wear sunglasses in the house.

  2. Katt says:

    Carol, This is beautiful and so full of truth for me too. I sit, silently at times taking in the twinkling lights. I also have lights in every window and adorning the tree, inside as well as outside. The only thing we don’t have is snow, just sand. There are times I close my eyes and remember the snow and the flickering light from the glowing embers in the fireplace. Makes me want a cup of hot chocolate—as soon as I finish my ICED tea!
    Merry Christmas to you and many blessings my friend
    Hugs
    Katt

    • Katt – We don’t have snow at the moment either. We did earlier, but it has melted. Today it’s raining. Some years we have snow at Christmas, many years we don’t. I like all the lights no matter what the weather.

      Merry Christmas to you, too.

  3. Beautiful post, Carol. I love Christmas lights. It makes sense to me, too, that the winter solstice would inspire us to wish for light and to be delighted by it. Jesus is the light of the world. Light we crave, and light we need, like we need Jesus.

    What a heartwarming tradition in your church for a child to light a candle and say that Jesus is the light of the world. Amen, and blessings to you…

  4. You have a beautiful way of connecting the “every-day” with the “eternal”. In so doing, you are constantly sharing His light with the dark world. What a blessing you are!

    hugs,
    Donna

  5. patti says:

    Carol, BEAUTIFUL! I too love this blog and the lovely imagery paired with poignant, moving prose.

    Thank you for pointing my thoughts toward the Light of the World.
    Blessings,
    Patti

  6. Laura Best says:

    This evening we had a service in our church, that included the three churches in Dalhousie—Lessons and Carols , we called it. This year, we were invited to come forward and light a candle. There is something very symbolic about the lighting of a candle.

    • Laura, in a church where we once lived I remember how, late on Christmas Eve, we had a candlelight service. At the conclusion, as we all sang “Silent Night”, we walked out of the church and down the street still carrying the lit candles… a symbol of our desire to take the light of Christ out into the world. It was a very moving experience.

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