The Light of Christmas

“[T]he light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it,” John 1:5.

“When we do this, I know Christmas has begun,” my granddaughter says after packing boxes for soldiers.

She and her cousin are my helpers in this yearly task. Gifts and donations loaded into cardboard. Home-made sweets for troops, many serving we know not where.  A box to light, and lighten, Christmas in dark places.

One year, the night before box packing, the cousin and I set up my nativity–porcelain figurines with a light glowing behind a suspended angel.

This past Sunday at church, someone lit the first two purple candles and the pink candle of Advent. I light them at home.

The candleflicker of Christmas. Little lights for darkening days.

Through Advent, every day gets darker until we arrive at the cusp of Christmas. Winter Solstice is December 21st–the longest night of the year. By Christmas Day, light is increasing each day.

But Christ’s birth is most likely to have happened in autumn. Shepherds are not in the fields in December. Even tyrants don’t mandate a census in December. So Christmas is a tradition–not an actual birthday.

Christmas comes during the time of year pagans marked the winter solstice, the darkest day–but the end of encroaching darkness. A feast to celebrate light that overcomes darkness.

Christmas comes near Hanukkah–the Jewish festival of lights. To commemorate victory over an effort to eradicate Jewish civilization. To memorialize one day’s worth of sanctified oil fueling a light that hung on for eight days. Eight days to celebrate light that overcomes darkness.

Christmas proclaims the coming of a King who is the light who overcomes darkness.

“Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life,’” John 8:12.

There is a Christmas light to light the world–Christ Himself.

“And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth,” John 1:14. 

Christmas is coming. Let His light shine.


Photo Credit: Pixabay

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34 Replies to “The Light of Christmas”

    1. Thank you, Anneliese. Funny how even our attempts to shift a pagan idea–marking the solstice–to a Christian one still reflects God’s message to us. Christ is the light of the world. God bless!

  1. So many truths here. Love it. I’ve always known Jesus’ birth wasn’t in December, but I love how you so gently state the fact that it’s now a tradition not the actual birth date. It’s an awesome wonder though to know we do have the Light of Christmas.

  2. My husband and I have been talking about starting a new tradition of ensuring our hearts are in the right place during the Christmas season. We might need to start packing boxes for troops – I love that idea!

    1. That sounds wonderful, Emily. Another tradition we began a couple years ago is to gather some grandkids and buy some hot chocolate–plus one extra. Then we find a Salvation Army bell ringer and donate the loose change we’ve collected over the year. Afterwards–pizza! Great fun! Thanks and God bless!

    1. I don’t have a child deployed at the moment. But I’ve sent two sons on three deployments–so far. Hoping that’s it for us. We have a lovely group of “Moms” who pack boxes every year. It feels like a very, very little thing to do. But it’s what we can do for those who serve and those who are away from home. Thanks and God bless!

  3. Great reminder, Nancy. I’ve been trying to teach my kids about Christian history with stuff like this. They know it’s not Jesus’s actual birthday, but the significance is still a little hazy. Thanks for the post.

  4. I love that our celebration synchronizes with Hanukkah and also with the pagan festival marking the darkest night of the year turning toward a gradual return of light. The Lord comes for Jew and for Gentile alike, Messiah, Savior, and Lord. We incorporate the remembrance of his birth into this time when light is so important. Since he is the Light of the world, this is fitting. Your kindness and charitable work at this time of year are inspiring. You shine a light. God bless you, and Merry Christmas, Nancy!

    1. I love that view, Melinda! So many Christians reject much of our Christmas celebration because of its connection to pagan rites. Yet, your view illustrates that Christ came for the Jews celebrating Hannukah and the pagans marking the solstice. Nice! And Merry Christmas and God bless you too!

  5. The further north you go, the less light there is each day (I live in Canada). So we need Christ’s light all the more to avoid SAD (seasonal affective disorder.)

    When Christ dwells in us, we become the light of the world.

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