Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Once In Royal David's City"1 (Lyrics)
John 8:12 – Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life." (NLT)
The pace of activity has picked up tremendously at Arcadia Gardens. It all started with the daily hammering of wooden spikes in the courtyard. These preparations begin annually in October, as the property is transformed into formations with an overabundance of light.
Strings of lights are draped along the rows of balconies on several levels, above a giant pinwheel of lights on the lawn, surrounded by white reindeer walking along a trail that leads to a 24-foot tree decorated with a myriad of lights and a star adorning the top. Other reindeer are grazing on a trail that leads to a smaller tree laden with white lights.
During the first week in December, the transformations and images of light are revealed at an open house celebration. Residents, their relatives, and friends are invited to enjoy the efforts of a brilliant plan and execution of the overall project by the owner and his crew. Gracious oohs and aahs that emanate from the guests can be heard at the opening and throughout the month of December.
In the Bible, light has been associated with the presence, truth, and redemptive activity of God since creation:
Genesis 1:3-4 – Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. (NASB)
The New Testament carries on with this theme:
1 John 1:5 – This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. (NASB)
Jesus and the New Testament writers extended the figure of light to include faithful Christian witnesses:
Matthew 5:14-16 – Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand — shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. (MSG)
Ephesians 5:8 – For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. (NIV)
Our challenge: Are we shining the light given to us as children of light? Or, without the love of the Father of lights, are we still in darkness? We can accept Jesus today and become children of God who live in the light.
James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (NKJV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank and praise You for transforming us into Your children of light. Empower us to be faithful witnesses by living out Your message of love and forgiveness. This we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.