I can’t wait for Christmas. In a year of “I can’ts,” there’s almost a desperation when we say it. Like we need it. Like our lives depend on it.
The earliest displays of holiday lights and nativity scenes went up in my neighborhood in October. October. Where I live, it’s 90 degrees in October. Sorry, but baby Jesus doesn’t look right on the lawn in the blazing sun. I want to lather SPF 30 on him. I want to snatch Him up at dawn and return Him at dusk. He looks better under the soft glow of holiday lights. Those little half-watt wonders dispel the darkness.
We long for light, don’t we? Our physiology tells us this. When it’s dark, our pupils dilate to let light in. Light sets our sleep cycle, stirring us to alertness, activity and life.
Our souls long for light, too. And the Light of the world has been here with us all this time, blazing and inviting and saying, “Ask, seek, knock. I can help. Let me love you.”
The heavens are playing show-and-tell with light tonight to give us a nudge. Saturn and Jupiter will meet in a planetary alignment not seen since Saint Louis IX was king of France. It’s being dubbed the Bethlehem Star.
If a star in the sky showed us to the King, would we follow?
Would we go to the stable where they nestled Him into a wooden crib?
Would we go to the hill where they nailed Him onto a wooden cross?
Would we go?
When we say we’re ready for Christmas, do we know what we’re saying? It’s ok if we don’t totally have an answer for that. It’s hard to see in the dark. When Jesus came, the people were walking in darkness, too. They’d waited 400 years since the last time they’d been told He’d come. Their place of worship had been vandalized. The political system was a mess. It’s like God had gone dark.
And in the dark night of their soul, a baby came. He freed captives, fed crowds, welcomed kids, healed lepers, wooed doubters, restored sinners, honored outcasts, calmed waves, drove demons, loved enemies, humbled Himself, and defeated death.
This King came. He still reigns. And if we’ll give him our lives, not our lawns, He’ll give us everything in return.
A pardon for sin.
Peace with God.
Adoption into a family.
Freedom from fear.
Fullness of joy.
A future inheritance.
In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. Maybe it just had to get dark for us to see Him clearly.
Next time we say, “I can’t wait for Christmas,” maybe we’ll add “because a baby came.” I almost hear a desperation when we say it. Like we need it. Like our lives depend on it.
The people in darkness have seen a great light. – Isaiah 9:2
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:5