This time of year, the winter blahs are heavy for most of us. The sun shines less, the weather is colder, and there is a general feeling of heaviness that settles on our Northern Hemisphere. (Merry Christmas in July, New Zealanders. I know you cannot relate!)
My favorite activity in the evenings is looking at Christmas lights as I drive from place to place. Especially the warm yellow glow of clear incandescent lights. Though the energy-efficient LED lights are becoming more prevalent, their glow is a bit reminiscent of Elsa’s ice palace—a cold beauty.
Does it bother you to see a strand of Christmas lights with a burnt-out bulb? It bothers me. I want to replace it and see all the lights shining!
How many times have you found that your light is dim or burnt out and you feel you don’t belong with those other lights around you? The good news for us, is that we don’t need to be replaced or discarded. We have a weak connection, or maybe we’ve become disconnected entirely. Just like the old lights where we had to be twisted into the socket, we need to be “all the way in” with our power source. This is not a lecture or a legalism or a shaming, but a beckon, a call to life, a cool drink of water on a hot day, and a warm cup of tea or cocoa or cider on a frigid night. God’s love was made manifest and predicted 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ.
“How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7)
Hear the angels bringing good tidings of great joy? Well, this verse is also speaking of us, 2700 years later.
In Luke chapter 2, remember this commonly quoted passage?
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
That great joy was not just for Israel, but for all humanity. You now know that good news and can share it with many too. The next passage originally was spoken over John the Baptist, preparing for Jesus’ first coming.
I’d like to take a little liberty and say that with the power of the Holy Spirit within us, that this can be true of US, preparing the way for Jesus’ second coming.
“And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”(Luke 1:76-79)
So, my friend, do not become weary in doing good. This time of year can be cold and bleak, but there is a very real warmth and hope that can be living within you. And you, small as you are, shine very brightly in the darkest places. For truly, when there is great darkness, the visibility of lights are much greater. The birthplace of Jesus is referenced in Micah 5:2
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
It is God who uses the small, the seemingly powerless and insignificant to do the most amazing things for His glory. It’s not about us and it never will be, so our imperfections are like drops of rain on the mighty ocean. Be revived and refreshed and be ready to BEAM like the brightest light in the display. God put you on earth for His plans and His purposes, and when you start listening and looking at those plans, His yoke really will seem easy and light. And when your work is done? “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
You are chosen, not rejected. You are loved, you are His.
Photo Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Christmas_lights#mediaviewer/File:Adornos_de_navidad_I.JPG