Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Christians Awake"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 5:16 – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (KJV)
From the time that I was a young boy, I have always enjoyed putting the decorations on a Christmas tree. Usually varied in shape and size, they always included glass balls. These glass balls that allow the lights to shine through them, in my opinion, make the beauty of a decorated Christmas tree complete.
A recent Google search gave me some interesting information about the origin of the glass balls that I enjoy seeing on Christmas trees. Apparently, in Europe since the Middle Ages, the feast day of Saint Adam and Saint Eve has been on December 24th. To honour the day, Christians would recreate the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden by hanging apples from trees. Because of the close connection with the Christ Mass, the apples became known as Christkindel Apples, or Christmas Apples, a variety of apple still found in Alsace. Perhaps due to a shortage of apples, or simply from the idea and crafting of artisans, apples were replaced by blown glass balls. In some traditions, the Christmas tree is not brought into the house or decorated with those glass balls until Christmas Eve.
I never knew these things before. Google searches can certainly expand our knowledge base quickly! How appropriate to emphasize that the reason that Jesus was born was to be a sacrifice for human sin that began in the Garden of Eden!
While this bit of expanded knowledge regarding Christmas tree decorations is interesting, I still find the reflected light shining through glass balls teaches me some great lessons.
The desired effect is achieved only with the strength of the light shining through the glass ball. We must be sure that we are properly connected to the true source of light — Jesus Himself — if we expect to show pure light to others.
The light shining through glass balls can be redirected or modified in some way depending upon decorated paint or other objects on the surface of the glass ball. While this is often desirable for tree decorations, when it comes to allowing the light of Jesus to shine through us, it is essential that our impurities don't distort or cloud the true Light of life.
Indeed, our mission at this holiday season and throughout the year is to show the light of Jesus to others in a powerful way. We must be pure in our thoughts and actions so that others can see Him clearly and be drawn to Him.
Prayer: Dear Father, we are grateful that You have chosen to shine a bright light into our lives. May we be eager to accept that light and to follow the lead of Jesus in sharing that light with others. In His name, we pray. Amen.