The glow of Christmas

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by Commissioner Gwen Luttrell

“Leave the light on for us, Grandma,” our young grandchildren often say at bedtime, after we’ve read to them and quietly listened to their tender prayers.

We know how hard it is for some children to be in a dark house, so the glow of those radiant nightlights is comforting.

Darkness comes in so many forms: we think of the darkness of bereavement or illness; of depression; of joblessness or a broken relationship. At such moments, we fear that the darkness of God’s silence may be permanent.

But we can take heart in Corrie ten Boom’s words, “No matter how deep our darkness, God is deeper still.” We praise him for that assurance in times of deep despair and dreadful gloom.

Left to ourselves, we are at the mercy of our own passions and fears, but by trusting God, we have the confidence that our hope is in Jesus—the glorious light of the world!

The promise of the light came from God through the great prophets who experienced and saw his glory. After hundreds of years of silence, the darkness was broken by the glow of a bright star hanging over Bethlehem and the angelic host singing “Glory to God in highest.” Jesus, the light of the world had come.

Previously, there had been flickers of truth, faint glimpses of reality but “Jesus came as the true light which lights every one that comes into the world.” (John 1:9) With the advent of Jesus, it was the dawning of a new day; when Jesus dawns upon our lives, light comes and fear dissipates. That’s the glory of Christmas that brings the glow of Christmas!

Driving to territorial headquarters in the early morning we frequently experience the emergence of dawn with all its brilliant radiance across the sky. What awesome splendor! Consider Jesus coming to us as a blazing light with the warm glow of his presence sweeping our souls in all his Glory. “He was the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being…” Hebrews 1:3.

It is that radiance of his glory that shines in our lives as we experience his presence and his power alive and at work within us. We experience this radiance permeating us and flowing through us to others. I see it coming through our committed active and retired officers, soldiers and Christian friends who faithfully and consistently respond to the needs in their communities not only at Christmas but throughout the year.

I see it in our loved ones, family and friends who know Jesus and who share the radiance of his presence in every aspect of their lives.

This is the glow of Christmas that comes from the glory of Christmas found in Jesus Christ himself, the very son of God.

In John 1: 6-7 we read of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus, who “…was sent from God as a witness to testify about the light so that we might believe through him.” We are reminded that he was not the light himself but came to point others to Jesus Christ.

Our mission, too, is to live so that others will see the presence of Christ within us and point them to Jesus.

William Barclay says that “The glory of God is the luminous glow of the presence of God.” To think that the glow from the presence of God can actually be seen in our lives is overwhelming. This glow fills our homes, touches our relationships and helps us bring others to Jesus. That’s what Christmas is all about.

Think what it would mean if all who claim the name of Jesus were to be filled with the luminous glow of his presence. Our world would be so different, our homes would be different, our relationships would be different and most importantly, our father in Heaven would receive the honor he deserves!

As our lives are bathed in the glowing splendor of the presence of God, then people everywhere will know that the light of the world is Jesus.

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts, to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)

There is no need for us to feel besieged by the evils of this world because we can claim with confidence that “There isn’t enough darkness in the world to put out the light of God!”

Jesus is the source of our glow at Christmas and throughout the year.

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