|Seriously -- Just One Among BLOCKS of Beauty!|
The folks in our neck of the woods are again doing their part to create a magical spirit for the holidays. Nightly, house after house lights up –some more imaginative than others – more than a few are dazzling. Against the sky’s blackness, the lights and lawn displays are wonderful, even the LED displays that look as cold as ice feels seem enchanted – like a fairyland.
During the day, though, the lavish lights are invisible, and the ginormous inflatable characters in many yards and balconies deflate – and look like I feel, given current events. With age, comes the certain awareness that some things just might not work out – and not just on the account pages of my life’s ledger.
We don’t have anything like peace on earth – riots, terrorists, sex trafficking, Ebola, disappointment, and spiraling national and international debt – and the forgotten survivors in Syria. Life is as downright scary and painful today as it was when B.C. became A.D. The nighttime magic doesn’t lighten the load many of us bear. And when January comes, and the outdoor lights are gone – the burdens remain.
But for now the lights and their glory in the dark night remind me of Christ, who is the Light shining through darkness – light that doesn’t fade in the sun’s brightness. The God who took on flesh offers to bear the load. (Mathew 11:29-30) And His is the very breath of life. God is, and became like thee and me, mortal, so that you and I might escape what binds us – and live freed, being useful. (John 1)
In all the wrappings covering up Christmas, I can become useless. Being useful can be as easy as doing a little something for somebody who can’t repay me -- Christ didn’t come to bear my load so I could enjoy all the season but forget to share.
We live in a culture that lives in excess. We have so much and we want so much more. It’s so easy to get sucked in and think everyone lives the way we do: Everyone spends money decorating their homes, everyone bakes 8 varieties of holiday cookies, everyone gets the best cyber deals and everyone has the opportunity to make Christmas magical for their kids.
And it’s easy to forget those who don’t live like “everyone” else. (What the Poor Really Want for Christmas)
Praying and giving, serving and sharing, just showing up are year–round opportunities. But I seem to see them more clearly in the light of this season.