Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
December 6, 2015
Christmas lights remind us of the necessity of light
Our team was sitting in the Lusaka home of our hosts, Alfred and Muumbe Kalembo when suddenly the lights went out. The total darkness that engulfed their home startled us. They were not surprised and calmly explained that in Zambia the loss of electricity occurred for a couple of hours almost every night. It was a nuisance they had learned to tolerate. We lit candles and broke out flashlights. Otherwise in the darkness of that home we would not have known where we were going.
Light is an absolute necessity for life to exist on the earth. If the sun were to “shut down,” scientists tell us that within a week the average global surface temperature would drop below zero. Plants would die rather quickly and animals would begin dying. The ocean would eventually freeze solid and the earth would become an ice ball. Life would cease to exist.
The Bible says that in the beginning the earth was “desolate” and “engulfed in total darkness.” Then God said, “Let there be light – and “light appeared.” And God was “pleased” with the light. We have good reason to be pleased ourselves because without the light we would not be here.
Light makes lights possible. Without lights life as we know it would be quite impossible. Traffic lights are necessary for us to navigate our streets and highways. Light is essential to daily work. Imagine what it would be like if you had no light by which to “fix your face” every morning. We must have light!
In this season soon to be climaxed by Christmas we shall enjoy light in a marvelous array of colors. The church calls the season Advent, the time when we prepare to celebrate the coming of Christ into the world. Advent is many things but it is surely a glorious season of lights.
Once the pumpkin of Thanksgiving is put away, we put up colorful lights everywhere – on the Christmas tree, all over the house, out in the yard, on the streets and even on commercial buildings. We love lights! We ride around to enjoy homes decorated with hundreds of lights, some so gaudy as to make us laugh. Some of us ride over to Callaway Gardens so the children can see the awesome display of “Fantasy in Lights.” We love to sing carols about the light of the star that guided the shepherds to Bethlehem. We enjoy letting children light Advent candles.
Perhaps we love lights because they give us power over darkness. Evil is symbolized by darkness. God is characterized by light. As we live out our days we must choose how we shall live – as children of darkness or children of light. Jesus invites us to trust the light – and He is the light. He is Light with a capital L, and John says, “in Him there is no darkness.” So when we are “in” Christ, there is no darkness in us for His light has overcome it.
Pause for a moment and give thanks for the Christ who is the Light of the world. Rejoice in the glorious privilege of walking in His light and having victory over the powers of darkness. When we allow the light of Christ to shine through our deeds of love and mercy, we fulfill the mandate of Christ to “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Before Santa comes down the chimney, take the time to sing “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.” To do that you may need to turn and run from the darkness! With the Lord’s help, you can begin walking in the light. You can let your light shine. You can kick up your heels and shout Hallelujah! You need stumble blindly in the darkness no more! You have been invited by the One who created light to enjoy the company of the children of light! And there is no better place to be!
The sons of darkness constantly tempt us to find fulfilment in the evil arenas of darkness. Fortunately we have a choice. We can renounce the powers of darkness and walk in the light that Christ provides.
A man has come to a good place in life when he can say with Hank Williams, “I saw the light, I saw the light. No more darkness, no more night. Now I’m so happy no sorrow in sight. Praise the Lord I saw the light.”
You will see many marvelous lights in these holidays but none more beautiful than the one Hank saw. And once you see it, you will find yourself saying what Hank said, “Praise the Lord!” + + +