Matt. 4:12-17; Isaiah 9:1-3; Matt. 5:14-16
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
a light has dawned
on those living in the land of darkness. (Isaiah 9:2)
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved driving around and looking at Christmas lights. We would all pile in the station wagon and drive all over the county looking at the “big houses” with lights. It’s one of my fonder childhood memories. I’m sorry to say that this isn’t something I was able to continue with my son when he was little, but that is going to change this year. I don’t care if he’s 16 or not. We’re going around and looking at lights. 🙂
In meditating on the questions posed by today’s devotion, several different themes came to mind. The first was Jesus as the Light of the world. He came to break us out of the darkness of sin and death and give us a glorious life instead.
The second is that light destroys darkness. There can simply be no darkness once a light is introduced. It is the same with Jesus. His Presence – His Light – chases all darkness away.
Finally, an amazing thing happens when we accept Jesus as Savior. We become part of the Light of the world. Paul says that our bodies become the temple of God. God – literally – dwells IN us.
Stop for just a minute and see if you can even begin to grasp that concept. Because I can’t.
Our purpose as followers of Christ is to take the Light that dwells within us and shine it on the world around us. We have a great responsibility as bearers of Christ’s Name. We can’t claim to know Him and then live like we don’t.
For me, especially, I have been convicted a lot lately about complaining and venting to others. They say you become who you hang around with, and I’ve lived the vast majority of my life around soul-sucking complainers, and it’s a hard habit to break. I am trying to be intentional about changing my speech to be more positive and uplifting.
Over the past year I have tried to give God as much public credit and glory as I can for the many ways He has protected me this year. I hope my responses to the events of this year have pointed those around me to my Savior. He is my rock and my fortress. My deliverer and defender. My strong tower. I cannot imagine having gone through this year without my faith, or facing the loss of so many long-term relationships without knowing that – unlike the people who failed me – my God would never fail me, never leave me, and never forsake me.
Without knowing that He is FOR ME.
I want others to know that God is for them, too. My blogger friend Tracee Persiko often tweets “Feeling seen runs deep. Help someone feel seen today.” There is so much truth in that. I know what it feels like to have people ignore you completely and pretend you never existed. You just want to get in their face, make them look at you, and scream “HOW CAN YOU TREAT ME THIS WAY?!” But you know it wouldn’t make a difference.
I remember the relief – the validation – the gratitude – I felt when someone – ANYONE – acknowledged my pain, even if it was simply saying “that sucks.” I knew they had seen me and felt for me, instead of turning away and ignoring my pain in an effort to stay in their comfort zone.
I want to help someone feel seen this year. I don’t want to be someone so wrapped up in myself and my first-world problems that I ignore the pain of those around me. Two of the kids my office is sponsoring are siblings. I recently learned that they come from a single mom home, and I think it also became one fairly recently. I don’t know the circumstances, but I do know how she is probably feeling right now. So this year, I am adopting her. I’m going to make sure she also has some gifts under the tree, from one single mom to another.
I’m going to make sure she knows that Somebody out there sees her.
How can you make someone feel seen this Christmas?
I’m linking up with Thorns and Gold to share Advent/Christmas posts this month.