Christmas Advent Day 22: Preparing for Light
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. (Luke 2:8-9, ESV)
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, ESV)
The decorations at Christmastime make everything so beautiful. Inside, the lighted trees and garland create a warm and cozy look. Outside, the houses are decked with lights to add cheer in the night. One of my favorite family traditions is our visit to McAdenville, a town in North Carolina that is decorated with many lights every year. This has been our tradition since I was a little girl, and I still get excited to go. You just can’t beat the contrast of the warm lights with the night sky!
At Christmastime we read the story of the shepherds out in the field watching over their sheep. Spending many nights in the field, they would have been familiar with the stars and would no doubt have seen some pretty spectacular light shows in the night sky. But nothing would have prepared them for the great light they would see the night the Lord Jesus was born!
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; we read that they were very afraid. And then they saw a multitude of the heavenly host. I can imagine it would have been hard for their finite minds to comprehend exactly what they were seeing. One day all those who are saved will see the angels—and the Lord—in Heaven. What a day that will be!
The light the shepherds witnessed foreshadowed the Light that was coming into the world that very night. In a dark and broken world, this Light would vanquish darkness and sin. During a cheerful season like Christmas, sometimes we don’t want to think about the darkness in our world, but sin is everywhere around us and we see brokenness everywhere we turn. No Christmas lights are enough to overcome the darkness of this world—not even the lights on the Griswold house in Christmas Vacation (sorry, I couldn’t pass up the reference).
Each year on Christmas, we celebrate the birth of our Savior, the Light of the World who came to save us from our sins (John 8:12). We, in turn, are supposed to reflect this light to those around us by the way we live and the way we carry ourselves. Wouldn’t it be an amazing thing if others were drawn to follow Christ because of the way we served Him and honored Him? As we appreciate the lights around us this Christmas, may we remember the Light that came that we might have life eternal.