“I believe in you
You know the door to my very soul
You’re the light in my deepest, darkest hour
You’re my savior when I fall…” (1977) “How Deep Is Your Love?” Recorded By: Bee Gees Composers: Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, and Blue Weaver
“Dad, I paid $90.00 for that thing!”
That’s what my eldest daughter said to me on the phone last week, in her very frantic delivery. Ever since she and her husband were able to get into a house, she has gone a bit over the top on holiday decor. (My opinion.) It doesn’t matter if it’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter, she decorates loudly and early.
When my phone alerted me to her call, I had a gut feeling there was trouble, even before I answered. Sure ’nuff, there was a major issue going on in her world. It seems the lights on her new front lawn snowman went out. As she investigated the holiday tragedy, she found all the bulbs working when tested separately. She then followed the electrical lines from the plug and socket until she found the electrical cord cut in half. Actually, it wasn’t cut, but rather chewed in half. Some neighborhood gnawing critter decided to taste the plastic sheathing of the cords. I’m surprised she didn’t find a lifeless furry little body stretched out at the crime scene. As it turns out, this is the second year in a row a critter of the great outdoors, obviously full of humbug, chewed through electrical cords which powered the true meaning of Christmas…a reindeer, elf, or Santa. (That would be her outlook.) In her distress, she used a few choice words of holiday stress, as she told me she had to get off the phone, run to the big box home store to buy another to replace it before the sun goes down. ($$$-ching-ching) As I got off the phone, I found myself saddened by the sounds of her sheer anger, distress, and frantic obsession. I didn’t raise her to hang the importance of Christmas on trinkets, elves, and power cords.
Yet, who doesn’t love Christmas lights? I know I do.
Back in Greenville, Texas, where my mom lives, Park Street is a major attraction in December each year. It’s well known for its old homes and large trees, and one of the oldest neighborhoods established in the town. The residents of that half mile street always do it up well. It’s a Christmas village for about a month, complete with visiting carolers, local choirs, tables with spiced ciders, popcorn, and sweet Christmas goodies. On particular weekends in December, you can stroll along the old street, laced in lit lanterns made with waxed white paper bags lighting up the sidewalks. After some hot chocolate, and homemade peppermint brittle, you can hop on the various Christmas wagons up and down the street for an eye-full of the decorated Victorian homes drenched in holiday lights. It’s very festive.
Around my neighborhood, in the north Dallas area, we have some decor lighting up the streets as well, although a bit more subdued.
Some don’t mind spending major funds to hire professional decorators to wrap their property in holiday cheer. My preference are the solid colors.
This month, God did His part. He aligned for us, Saturn and Jupiter, creating a bright star-like display outshining the other heavenly bodies.
There is something to be said concerning illuminations at Christmas time. Beyond the beauty of the shimmers and glimmers, light goes well with the advent of the birth of Jesus. Hundreds of years before His arrival, one of the prophetical writings of His birth was penned by one of the Old Testament prophets, with light in mind.
“O people walking in darkness, behold a great light: ye that dwell in the region and shadow of death, a light shall shine upon you.” – Isaiah 9:2 – (Brenton Septuagint Translation)
Long before that was written, the words of Balaam, the only gentile Old Testament prophet, lit up the page with this oracle:
“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, A scepter shall rise from Israel,..” – Number 24:17a – (NAS)
Fast forward to the wise men from the east, who had studied the old scrolls, asking Harod:
“Where is the One having been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” – Matthew 2:2 – (Berean Study Bible)
Park Street’s white paper bag lanterns, lining the sidewalks, comes to mind when reading the words of King David:
“I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” – Psalm 119:104-105 – (NIV)
Have you ever been inside Carlsbad Caverns when they turn off the lights? It’s a dark display of what true darkness is. You can’t see the nose just below your eyes in the velvet blackness never experienced above ground. When the lights come back on, you are so grateful to see the lamps planted on the edges for the pathway.
We are in a world growing darker by the day. You can pay for all the stringed lights at Home Depot, and compete with the Griswold family down the street, and still walk in darkness at Christmas. There’s truth to a line in an old song from the Eagles that reads something like; “You can gaze at the stars in the sky and still miss the light.” (My paraphrase.)
So, if 2020 chewed through your electrical cords, shutting down the man-made colored light on your every day walk, it could be you might have missed The Light. After all, a light show is just that, a light show.
There are lots of uneven sections of concrete on the sidewalks of Park Street. As it turns out, those paper bag lanterns spotlight the cracks and bumps which will disrupt the next step taken.
It’s always good to go Christmas light watching wherever you can find them. Afterwards, it’s even better to look for the True Light of Christmas to make the pathway glow.
Plastic cords can be a delight for a squirrel, yet the Forever Light can never be diminished. This Christmas, find the original illumination in fuel for the race.
“And Yeshua (Jesus) spoke again with them and he said: “I AM THE LIVING GOD, The Light of the world. Whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall find the light of life.” – John 8:12 – (Aramaic Bible In Plain English)