One of my favorite things during the Christmas season is driving through the neighborhood to see the war of the Christmas lights. Some entire blocks, lit with twinkling lights, are are as bright as daylight.
I’m not sure I ever understood the true meaning of these lights or the Christmas lights I hung on my tree and draped across the mantel. Mostly, they were pretty decoration signifying my celebration of the birth of the Savior. Today, when I lit the tree, I remembered the Light of the world.
Jesus was at the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem. The Jewish nation was commemorating God leading them out of Egypt and out of slavery. At the feast, they set up temporary housing and tents to remember their ancestors’ journey.
At that time, the newly freed nation set up their homes when God stayed in one spot, and packed them up again when God moved on. God promised to stay with the nation in their trek through the barren dessert and to remain with them always. He manifested himself in a pillar of fire by night, giving them light and warmth, and a pillar of cloud by day, giving them protection and guidance.
At the Feast, four huge candelabras were lit, illuminating the whole of Jerusalem. It was here that Jesus proclaimed this truth. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness.“ John 8:12 ESV Some believed. Some wondered who this man was.
Throughout the Bible, God reminds us that he is our light.
The prophet Micah warned his enemies not to rejoice over him for when he fell he would rise and when he sat in darkness, the Lord would be his light. (Micah 7:8)
The psalmist wrote “The Lord is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1)
In Job’s trouble, he said his God watched over him and His light shone upon his head. (Job 29:3)
Isaiah spoke of a time when there would be no more sun or moon, because the Lord will be our everlasting light. (Isaiah 60:19) This was echoed in John’s vision of the New Jerusalem, where he saw no sun or moon because the glory of God gave it light and the Lamb was its lamp. (Revelation 21:23-24)
Now when I marvel at the Christmas lights, or simply light a candle, I’ll think of the one who led me out of the slavery of sin, who is a light in every dark place, and who is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?