“Do you decorate your Christmas tree with the traditional white lights or do you use the multi-colored ones?” the hostess asked the radio caller.
While I was driving to work last week I had the radio tuned to one of my favorite programs. As expected the discussion topics touched heavily on Christmas traditions, favorite movies and carols, and funny events at parties. It passed the time and kept my mind off the nastiness of politics and disasters around the world.
My answer to the question varies. I’ve had years where I’ve gone all white with my lights and other years where I’ve preferred the multi-colored lights. Some years my lights blinked and other years, I wanted them to not blink. However, many of the radio callers were quite set on which way those lights had to be for them to enjoy them.
We all know the celebration of Christmas must have some type of lighting—be it candles or a blinking red nose on Rudolph. Lights are a necessary item and, sadly, many do not know the deeper reason lights are a part of the holiday.
For my family, this year’s holiday is one where dark shadows vie for space within the light. It isn’t the first time all was not merry and bright during Christmas and it may be the same in your home this year.
All was not easy or glittery when Jesus came into this world. Mary and Joseph did not click their glasses of wine that dark night in the musty stable in Bethlehem and say to each other, “Isn’t this great!” I imagine they clung to each other wondering what was in store for them with this babe.
One of my favorite carols is “Mary, Did you Know?” It’s kind of a newer hymn and one I instantly fell in love with. What I most love about it is how it provides a glimpse into what Mary may have wondered. And, we have so rarely contemplated Mary’s thoughts.
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would walk where angels trod?
No, Mary did not know these things. Just as we, when we follow God through faith, have no idea what is in store for us.
God provides just enough light for the step we’re on. He gave Mary just enough information for the moment she was living in. She had to trust God step by step.
I’m sure Mary wanted to know more about what was in store for her baby boy, Jesus. But, since we know the whole story, it’s easy to imagine God knew she probably didn’t really need to know her son would, one day, hang on a cross and die a slow, cruel death.
As we finish our celebrations this week, take a moment to thank God for the light of Jesus–the reason for our use of lights during the Christmas season. But, also lift a thank you to Him for his wisdom that He only gives us just enough light and only the information we can handle at any given moment in time.
Have a safe Christmas! Get some much-needed rest when you can and prepare yourself, as will I, for the upcoming year.
And, as Tiny Tim said in “A Christmas Carol,” “God bless us, every one.”