Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "There's A Song In The Air"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 4:16 – The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned. (ESV)
We have a lovely Christmas tree. It usually comes down from the loft in December, and out from the various boxes come all the branches and paraphernalia that are stored away for the rest of the year.
This year, my children were impatient for the Christmas tree to go up. So, at the last weekend of November — a week early — it was with delight that I erected the tree and put on various sets of bright lights. The children loved putting on the all the baubles, tinsel, and decorations.
It meant moving the furniture about and losing a chair upstairs to make room for the ceiling-high, four-foot-six-inch-wide tree in our living room. Caroline then came and made it pretty and safe for the small hands of my grandchildren.
Caroline said that the tree came alive when the lights were turned on. Similarly, without Jesus, there is no light in us until we are brought from death to life by the act of confession, faith in Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit — the same now as it was 2000 years ago.
Amongst the branches are cones, berries, and bundles of real cinnamon bark curls. When it is put up, even after six years, the fragrance from the cinnamon fills the room. It reminded me of how Mary Magdalene put perfume on Jesus' feet, and its fragrance filled the room — a corporeal token of Jesus' status and mission here on earth that all started with a light over Bethlehem.
Whether it is at bedtime or mealtime, we invoke the name of Jesus to bring us peace, blessing, provision, and comfort. Hopefully the fragrance of Jesus' light permeates our life, most of the time (at least when we remember, anyway!)
Let us reorganize some of the clutter of life and Christmas, to allow in the fragrance and light of Jesus to fill our beings and the places where we find ourselves today.
Prayer: Lord, we remember that You were born to take captivity captive, to set the enslaved free, to bring sight to the blind, and to overcome darkness by Your presence. So we ask for the fragrance of Jesus' light, love, and peace to permeate the places of darkness, fear, and conflict in our lives, and then the world where we are today, in Jesus' name. Amen.