As a little kid, I knew it was Christmas when Mom and Dad put our little tree up. Putting the tree up was usually accompanied by hot chocolate and laughter and fun. I always loved the day the tree went up.
As I grew older, we stopped putting up the plastic tree and moved to real trees. For me, the smell of pine came to mean Christmas.
My sweet wife is allergic to pine (and just about everything else under the sun), so, since the earliest days of our marriage, we’ve had an artificial tree. I don’t mind the artificial tree, but I do mind one job necessary regardless of what tree you have—checking all the strands of lights to make sure they’re in working order. One burnt out light could keep an entire strand from working, and finding the burnt bulb so that it could be replaced can take FOREVER!
Tammy and I wised up or so we thought. We bought a pre-lit tree—no wires to untangle and no making sure I hadn’t missed a spot after I had strung the lights; in short, we took the easy way out. Well, I imagine you know exactly where this is going—When we put our tree up Monday evening, only one little section lit up; the rest of the lights were out.
Tammy was confident that we had strandS of lights in our boxes of decorations, but we couldn’t find them. We haven’t done so yet, but we need to visit Wal-Mart and purchase a few strands of lights. Right now, we have one little measly section of lights that are working.
I fear that too often we Christians are just like my Christmas tree—there are too far too few of us letting our lights shine. Jesus intends for our lights to shine: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt 5:14-16). Paul urged us to live righteously “in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom [we] shine as lights in the world” (Phil 2:15).
Each of us must shine as lights in this world. Seriously consider how you can let your light shine. In your sphere of influence, you very well may be the only Christian—you may be, therefore, the only light some people see in this dark world.