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The Advent Series-Day Eighteen

Day 18: City of Lights

Matthew 5:14-16 - “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

A sheep by a manger with a baby.

Copyright All images & writing © 2018 Charis Seed Photography All rights reserved

We had a tradition in our house when I was a child during the Christmas season. We’d pile into the car after dinner and drive around town looking at Christmas lights. No Instagram or Facebook, if you wanted to see the best lights shows in town you had to find them yourself. We had our favorite spots.

There was this one house that was famous across town. Every inch of the property was lit up.

Literally every inch. You could get out of your car and walk through the backyard to see display after display of twinkling, blinking Christmas lights. Red noses would glow. Little snowmen would dance. Santas would blazed in ruby and a whole forest of Christmas trees would surround you. Even at night, the immensity of the decorations was so intense it almost looked like daylight from the inside.I remember as we would drive home I would crane my neck to see that house as long as I could. I could still see lights from the next block over. Another city block and I might still squint to see a reflection in one of the houses. Even three blocks away, if there was snow on the ground and the winter clouds were low I might be able to see the aura of that grand light display. It was hard to miss!

It is in this season, when my city transforms into a city of lights, I am reminded that Jesus spoke of the same. He spoke of how a city on a hill cannot be hidden. Jesus grew up in the shadow of a city on a hill. It was called Sepphoris. It was a capital city where rich people lived. And built nice houses. And employed carpenters like Jesus’ adoptive father. It’s likely Jesus worked with his father putting in mosaic floors or building custom doors in the upper crust dwellings of the well-to-do. He too as a boy probably craned his neck as they walked into the darkness of night to see the bright display of lamps and fires burning in the last rays of dusk.

A lamp does no good if its kept hidden the Messiah reasons. And if everybody hides their light a whole town would disappear into darkness.

But if each person sets their light out where it can be shared, a city of light is created. A place that can be seen for miles!So remember your not just trying to keep the flame burning for yourself this Christmas. The light in you is meant to be shared. Your efforts to glow and brighten the holiday for those around you may seem small and tiring. But remember you are a lamp that’s part of a city of light. Your luminance reaches much farther than you think. Little things you do may light up the world of a child or lessen the darkness of loneliness in a neighbor.

You are the light of the world!

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Copyright All images & writing © 2018 Charis Seed Photography

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