Shining Light

Monday, December 20, 2021
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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.

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About the author:

Vincent Walter <vwalter@bell.net>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing, Vince. Have a Merry Christmas.


    How very VIVID are your images in this welcome writing today, Vincent! Thanks for sharing it with us.


    Thanks, Vincent. This is a good connection between Christmas decorations and our Christian attitudes and behavior.


    Good morning, very interesting and such good words.
    Blessings and a very blessed Christmas.


    Thank Vincent! I have never heard about the feast day of Adam and Eve? Now I need to google for more details. Christmas blessings.


    Thank you so much Vincent, this is a very educational devotion. May you and your family have a peaceful, joyous Christmas season.


    Thank you, Vincent, for sharing this informative devotional with us. Yes!
    May our lives reflect our Saviour’s pure, clear light! Blessings.


    Greetings Vince,
    Thank you for your devotional today and may you have a blessed Christmas celebration with those in your residence.


    Vincent, Interesting facts that add to our Christmas focus of Christ being the centre and how to apply it to our own life. Thanks for sharing.
    Christmas blessings.


    Good morning, Vincent,
    Thank you as always for your meditation. This Christmas I am in the midst of severe family conflict, so I appreciate the thought of letting the light of Jesus shine clearly.


    Dear Vincent,
    Thanks again for the wonderful Devotional. I so enjoy your writings. They are always so inspirational.
    God’s peace and hope to you this Christmas Season. Praying God fills your heart with all the good things He has to give.
    Christmas Blessings to You and your family.
    (Ont.)


    We just had a 24-hour power outage due to the strong winds and for this reason I was able to show God’s love by going an extra for a senior in distress, cold, and hungry. I believe when you do God’s will, you can never be too kind, and you can never be too generous. God gave His all to us. Thanks be to God and thanks be to you for yet another heartfelt devotional. Blessings always.


    Good morning, Vince,
    The giver of more knowledge to us all. My family came from Germany and when my mother was growing up there was no sign of Christmas until Christmas morning. Her parents did everything once the children were in bed on Christmas Eve. You can imagine how thrilling that was to the children when they woke up to this beauty and how tired their parents must have been. Somehow my grandmother baked Christmas cookies and other treats without them knowing it. It was how they imagined the magic of Christmas.
    I also love glass Christmas ornaments and have a few original from our tree at home.
    The lights of the Christmas tree remind me of Jesus’s light which he wants us to shine forward to all. I have the tree lights on all day and hope that through the window they brighten someone’s day as they do mine.
    Thank you for your research on glass balls and may you have a wonderful Christmas filled with Jesus’s light shining through you to others. I know it does just from your devotionals. Merry Christmas.


    Hi Vince,
    Thank-you for your devotional about the lights on a Christmas tree and allowing the pure light of Jesus to shine in our lives. I am looking at our Christmas tree as I read your devotional. I always look forward to your insights and contributions and make sure to read what you have shared. It is always a blessing! God’s blessings to you and yours at Christmas and in the New Year!

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