Have you seen the extent some people have started going to with their displays of Christmas lights? It’s pretty amazing – and that doesn’t even count how amazing it is how early some people are getting started putting out Christmas lights (that’s another subject altogether).
Light helps us see! It helps us see what’s there and it helps us see where to go. But no matter how much we love (or don’t) Christmas lights, for some people it’s challenging to see what’s there and where to go surrounding the Christmas holiday.
There are a lot of reasons why Christmas can get complicated for people. For some, the reason is complicated family relationships. They may get masked the rest of the year, but when everything and everyone’s attention is centered around the one holiday, it gets complicated. For others, it’s the financial part of Christmas that gets complicated. Oh, it’s been building all year (maybe even for a number of years) but specifically at Christmas, the financial thing gets complicated.
Still for others, the reason Christmas gets complicated surrounds what we believe or embrace about the story of the first Christmas. Most people know the story of the first Christmas centers around the birth of a baby named Jesus over 2000 years ago. But a lot of people don’t even know who this baby is and some know but have outright rejected the idea.
Jesus claimed to be the “light of the world” but who would he have to be to be that and what does that mean? If Jesus is the “light of the world” what is he helping us see and what path is he illuminating? Part 1 (Everything & Everyone) of CCC’s Christmas Lights series goes all the way back to “in the beginning” to start exploring answers to questions just like these.
As a next step, take a few minutes to read John 1:1-5 and considering the following questions about really lighting up your Christmas.
- What is your favorite Christmas light color? Why is it your favorite?
- Do you prefer your Christmas decorations in one color or multi-color lights?
- What is your reaction to John saying Jesus was with God in the beginning?
- How do you respond to John’s statement that Jesus “was God” in the beginning?
- If Jesus existed with God in the beginning, what are the implications of him not being a created being?
- What do you think it means that everything was created through Jesus?
- What do you think it means that Jesus gave everything life? How would you describe the different terms of life between things like plants and animals and humans?
- If Jesus is not a created being, what do you think John means by “his life”? How might this connect to the story of the first Christmas?
- How would you describe the purpose of light? How did Jesus’ life bring light to everyone?
- What do you think John means by “everyone”?
- What does it mean that light shines in darkness?
- What does it mean that darkness cannot overcome/extinguish light?
- What does light not being extinguished mean in connection with what you believe about Jesus?
- What next steps will you take to go toward the light?
Jesus’ early (and very close) follower, recorded what he experienced with and learned from Jesus (well, some of it anyway). He started his account of Jesus’ life by going all the way back to “in the beginning” to identify that Jesus was with God as is God then (and now), and the he was present and part of creation. Jesus gave life to everything and brought light to everyone! Just as a luminary lights a path, Jesus lights the way to right relationship with God.
There are a lot of extravagant Christmas light displays but none more so than Jesus, the original Christmas light for everything and everyone!
Today is Monday – make it a day that you go toward the light!