By Pastor Sam Kiser
Night has turned to day as the valley is bright with light. Everywhere you drive you are hyper-aware of the Christmas season. The decorations are full-on display. The Christmas Tree takes center stage in the hearts of those who adore the Christmas season. Yet, it’s the unsung hero of the Christmas lights that brings meaning to our season.
Drive around the valley for a moment and your attention and focus will be drawn to the radiance of light. It’s the house in Buellton we all know and love, and have to make our rounds to. Maybe it’s all the new sparklingly additions to Solvang stores.
The light itself is not the point, however. It’s what the light does that is important. In a very real way, the light does what it’s supposed to — it illuminates a tree or a house, but it also helps point the way. The light is never the point. The point of the light is what the light points to.
Christmas lights were used in the holiday’s history to point to the reason for the holiday its self. The origin of Christmas is wrapped up in its root word Christ, which means Messiah or savior. For early Christians, Christmas lights were a symbol of their belief that Jesus was their savior. Jesus said of himself, “I am the light of the world” (Jn 8:12). One of the young followers of Jesus would poetically write in his gospel, “the light shines into the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.”
Christians believe that Jesus is a light to the world, or in other words, He points the way. Whether you are a Christian or not, most people would agree that Jesus displayed for us a supreme ethic — love. Jesus made love the light of the world. Love shines into the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.
The unsung hero of the Christmas season is the light that points us to something more. The lights radiate the reason for the season. The sparkling of lights sparks something deep within us. The season is bright with the light of love that gives meaning to the holiday. The traditions of the season are backlit with love that lights up the night. Christmas gives us hope that no matter how dark the night, the light has shown and darkness cannot stop it.