The news drifts in from the other room as I sit at my desk and try to write. Heartbreaking headlines. Scary statistics. Pessimistic predictions. It seems peace is nowhere to be found on this planet and the night is anything but silent. Feeling overwhelmed and helpless I silently ask, “Lord, what do You want me to do about all of this?” And it seems I hear a quiet whisper within my heart: “The only way to get rid of darkness is to add more light.”
As much as we’d like to, we can’t go after darkness directly. We can only crowd it out with something better and brighter. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). He lives within us and wants to shine through us. Here are three ways we can let that happen this Christmas season.
First, we shine when we are kind. Just visit any shopping center and it’s easy to sense the pressure and stress this time of year brings. Smiles are a hard-to-find item. Fuses are short. Lines are long. By simply treating those we interact with in a considerate way we can brighten someone’s day. Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
We also radiate when we are real. One of my favorite Christmas decorations is a mosaic candle holder. When a candle is placed inside it, all the broken pieces multiply and spread the light. The seemingly imperfect places in our lives and hearts can do the same. We don’t need to have it all together. We just need to say, “Jesus, please use all of me for Your glory.”
When we are real, others are drawn to us. And that gives us the opportunity to brighten their lives with encouragement. I’ve attended a Christmas Eve candlelight service several times. At the end a single flame is lit and then passed from one person to another. That’s what encouragement does in our world. Every thoughtful word or act is a spark that can spread farther than we might ever realize.
Most importantly, we shine because we keep Jesus first. No matter what anyone may say, He is still the reason for the season—and the reason for the light within us. Our Savior knows there will always be news headlines like the ones I heard. They existed the night He was born as a baby in Bethlehem and will continue until He comes again. But He also knows that because of what He did on the cross and through His resurrection the darkness has already been defeated.
So every time we see a Christmas light this year let’s remember this invitation and celebration: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord shines over you” (Isaiah 60:1). The darkness will not last forever. The light always wins in the end. And we can all make this world a little brighter wherever we are today.
What’s one small way you can brighten someone’s day this Christmas season?
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