So, are there any diehards who still have Christmas lights up? Come on, fess up. It's okay if you're staying strong and keeping the Christmas spirit going. I saw that veiled eye roll over there. I know most of you de-decorated recently and have all the Christmasy stuff packed away till next Octobe....I mean November.
I recently read a story of a family that seemed to be going overboard with their Christmas lights. Robert Russell tells the account in his book, "Jesus Came to Be the Light".
"A house near the entrance of our subdivision kept its Christmas lights burning long after the season was past. They burned through January and then into February. Finally, I became a bit caustic. “If I were too lazy to take my Christmas lights down, I think I’d at least turn them off at night,” I said. But about the middle of March a sign outside the house explained why the lights were still on. It simply said, “Welcome home, Jimmy.” We learned the family had a son in Vietnam, and they had left their Christmas lights on in anticipation of his return. Lights are a symbol of hope." (1001 Illustrations that Connect, Larson & Ten Elshof)
Lights in the window brought hope to the family as they awaited their soldier's return home. Light brings hope and hope cannot be shaken or taken. You see folks, if you still have Christmas lights up, it's okay. Go ahead and continue to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus. He came as the Light of the World and it would be a shame to short change Him.
Recently, media outlets have been lit regarding the tragic murder of Trooper Weaver. A movement to turn porch lights on in memory of the fallen police officer gained a lot of traction. It seemed everywhere I drove after dark the streets were well illuminated. We turned our porch light on to memorialize Weaver's death and the deaths of all law enforcement who don't get to return home. It seems a small thing, but solidarity among residents can be powerful. A Facebook post had people chiming in from other states and a few from Canada and other countries.
Imagine the miniscule effort one person can offer. Now consider the power of many singular people coming together to make a difference. We saw that last night when we went to eat at the local Hoss's restaurant. The parking lot was jammed and apparently the community had kept Hoss's busy all day long. The owner's of Hoss's has offered up to 25% of each bill to go toward the Weaver family.
While Trooper Weaver can not be brought back, hundreds of people and a business owner have chosen to shine a light of hope into a darkened place.
If Jesus came to reconcile our sin filled broken hearts and restore us back into a relationship with a holy God, then it becomes an act of worship for us to share the Good News Hope of Jesus. Go ahead, turn on the lights and restore some hope to your town.