As another Christmas holiday season comes to a closure, there are a few things that were on my heart that I wanted to share with you.
First, something that I think is worth pondering that seemed to resonate with me this Christmas season is the verse that says,
“..She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was not room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7 (NIV)
Thinking about that inn keeper who had no more rooms available I think is a good parallel to peek into our own lives.
…Do we have “room” for Him, Jesus, in the “inn” of our heart?
Have we accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord of our life?
Does He rule our lives?
Or is that “inn” too busy with things in this world that distract us?
Do we let other things take priority over living for Him?
Another image that keeps recurring in my life this Christmas season is the verse that says,
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Luke 9:2 (NIV)
Jesus’ birth. as well as the ultimate act of sacrificing His very life for us, SHATTERED THE DARKNESS!
Before God sent Jesus to earth, the people were in darkness from sin and evil that entered the world through our first parents, Adam and Eve. God’s plan was then to send the world a Savior….to save us all from that evil. God did not want us to be in darkness.
Jesus entering the world means there is no more darkness….that DARKNESS IS SHATTERED by the LIGHT OF CHRIST!
The Darkness of ALL sin and evil is defeated. JESUS truly is the LIGHT!
Our lives need to reflect that LIGHT SHATTERING THE DARKNESS.
For me this year, two events come to mind that I think reflect this LIGHT SHATTERING THE DARKNESS.
Last Christmas, I was truly blessed to have been part of some Christmas caroling at a nursing home where a fellow church member was confined to. We ended up caroling for her and then visited one other shut-in as well. You could tell that both people were blessed by that simple act, and they were singing along praising the Lord with us looking so happy and peaceful.
This year, I really had the urge to do that again. To bring that LIGHT SHATTERING THE DARKNESS to others. The lady we visited last year died during this past year. There was a gentleman from our church who has been sick and either in the hospital or nursing home for the past two years. He suffered immensely during this time. I thought he would be a great person to go caroling to this year. We found out a few days before the caroling date that he was back in the hospital and hospice was being called. He had gotten to the point of being unresponsive too. So, we felt it was not a good idea to go visit him. Ironically, we learned he died that evening we went caroling.
We ended up gathering eight of us to go caroling to three different shut-ins. I feel God truly worked it all out. The people we visited were so appreciative and I think the LIGHT SHATTERING THE DARKNESS helped brighten their holidays. Each couple we visited is going through such struggles and heart aches in their lives. The one family we are very close with and their daughter is going through a health trial right now. Her parents and I were crying as we stood singing Christmas carols, and it was neat to see that many of the people caroling had been praying for this gal by name, not knowing who she really was. So, now through seeing a picture of her, they can connect the face with the name and know it is this couple’s daughter.
My eldest son had a wonderful idea to have the LIGHT SHATTERING THE DARKNESS for his one grandmother who lives alone. We usually end up entertaining three sets of people during the Christmas holiday by preparing feasts. I am so blessed that this son loves to prepare plan, prepare and execute delicious meals and even clean up the house before hand. He is very organized and efficient in all he does. He will even help me shop if he isn’t busy studying for college finals.
The one day he says, “We should make a meal for grandma and take it to her.” It has probably been about 15 years since we’ve gotten together for any holiday with her. She just feels more comfortable staying home. This year, my son actually said back in Oct. that this Grandma shouldn’t give us gifts this year as she does not have much money. She is retired and was helping out at an organization a little through the year, but this year it was much less time than prior years. Therefore, her income is very little. I thought that was a great thing for my son to recognize and be willing to not receive a present. Reluctantly, grandma agreed only if WE didn’t get her anything either.
To make it more challenging, this grandma is a vegetarian; we are definitely not! (though this son wouldn’t mind if we were!) So, coming up with a meal idea was definitely more difficult. But leave it to him! He came up with a soup idea and a dessert. So, a few hours before we wanted to arrive at grandma’s house, I called her to let her know that my son wanted to prepare a meal and what time we would arrive.
It ends up that the whole family crashed her place bringing all the dishes, glasses, cups, etc that we needed along with the food to her house. She was shocked to see us all. We overtook her dining room table that never gets used and made ourselves at home.
When we tried to head up the Christmas Caroling for the shut ins, my husband had thought about going to her apartment too, but that didn’t work out with the location of the other shut-ins we visited. So, he brought his guitar and we sang a few Christmas carols for her too.
When we left there, after about a two hour visit, grandma was in tears…tears of happiness. I think the LIGHT SHATTERING THE DARKNESS was a huge blessing to her. I think she will not soon forget that night, and that we have forged a new tradition to add to our holiday list!
Can you think of ways that you might have shattered the darkness in someone’s life this holiday season? I’d love to hear.
You might just bless someone else or inspire them to do that in the future.
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you. –Isaiah 60:1-3 (NIV)