One of my favorite things to do during Christmas time is drive around and look at Christmas lights. House after house is lit up with an array of color and bursts of twinkles that shine brightly against the contrast of the cold and dark evening.
There is a neighborhood near my hometown that is affectionately labeled “candy cane lane” during the holiday season. Nearly every single house is lit up during the season and as I drive down the streets, I become a little kid again: wide-eyed, slack-jawed, expressing my joy with the variable ‘ooh’ or ‘aah’ as I view each home’s personally decked halls. It’s such a fun evening, complete with carolers and a live nativity. It’s always a night to remember.
Whether you’re bundled up and walking around with a warm cup of coffee or comfortably sitting in a car driving around the neighborhood gazing upon the cacophony of merriment, one thing is certain: as the evening winds down and we start to talk about our “favorites”, we barely give a sideways glance at the houses who chose not to participate.
When a home blends into the darkened background, it’s easy to look past it. Just as when we, as Christians, look just like the world around us, who is going to take notice? Who will give us a second thought when we look, act, sound, and react just like everyone else?
Jesus said in Matthew 5: "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” [Mat 5:14-16 NKJV]
Be reminded, dear brother and sister, that we are meant to stand out, just like a well done Christmas light display. But remember, we aren’t meant to stand out so people will look at us and say “wow, you’re great!” We are meant to shine Christ’s light. We are meant to shine brightly into the night and as people take notice of the joy and wonderment in our lives, they will do as the scripture says: ‘...glorify your Father in heaven.’Let us live glorifying lives. Let us live bright lives, set apart from the world and with every intention of having people see Christ in us.