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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Lights on

From the time I was kid, one of my favorite things about Christmas has been the lights. I love riding through some of the large neighborhoods that really jazz up their decorations or cruising slowly by a house where they have gone all out with the lighting (I must, however, admit that I can't imagine living next door to one of those for the entire holiday season). Lights are so much a part of the holiday season as they symbolize the arrival of Jesus, the One who was described as the true Light of the World.

The Bible says that Christ followers are also to be lights. It is our responsibility to shine brightly in the darkness, to reflect the character of Christ. When a Christ follower does that--really shines brightly through their words and deeds--the world takes notice. They also notice when we don't.

I was reminded of that a few months ago when one of my staff got into a conversation with a member of our community at a ballgame. They began to talk about careers and mutual friends in the community when the name of one of our church attenders came up. The pastor said, "Yes, I know him well. He attends our church." At which point the gentleman said, "Really? I didn't even know he was a Christian."

Ouch!!

Sounds like a place where a bulb has dimmed or gone out completely. Nothing can be more frustrating than to get a whole strand of lights in place on your tree and find out that one bulb has stopped working. And, because it's not doing its job, the whole strand is effected.

The same is true when we choose not to live as lights. Compromises in our actions, our thoughts, our attitudes and our words can leave the rest of the lights looking a little dim themselves.

Jesus said:
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16 NIV

This holiday season, let your light shine brightly for the world to see. It's just another way that you and I can live out our purpose and extend God's glory.

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