God's Light

Shining God’s Light

Today is the 8th day of Christmas. It’s also the first day of 2021. Happy New Year! I pray that you and your family have found loving, joyful, peaceful, and hopeful ways in which to celebrate the birth of our dear Lord and Savior and ring in the new year, to shine God’s light.

A week ago on the day after Christmas my husband Kurt and I were at hospital. We’d gone over to see my mother-in-law and found her not doing well. After a short trip to the hospital in an aid car and a battery of tests in the ER, we learned that she had pneumonia.

While in the emergency room, I was able to be with Phyllis. I watched her get poked and prodded, cuffed and encouraged as blood was drawn, xrays taken, and IVs started. Feeling terrible, her eyes heavy, her body shaking, she was gracious and grateful for the attention and care, never missing the opportunity to share her thanks and appreciation. In a very special way, she lit up the room.

During our preparations for Christmas, we lit the candles of Love, Joy, Peace, and Hope. Light is an important part of both our preparations and also our celebrations. Not only do we light candles at church and at home as part of an advent wreath, but we decorate with lights, tree lights, house lights, lights on the shrubs. We share God’s light.

As a child, our family used to take Sunday evening drives just to look at the lights during the holidays. We were all delighted by the beautiful decorations.

God’s Light

God uses lights, too. After baby Jesus was born, God’s light illuminated a miracle for the shepherds. God’s light lead the wise men. God’s light shared His love, joy, peace, and hope.

In the New Testament book of Luke, we learn that angels appeared to shepherds who were watching their flocks at night. When angels appeared to them, the glory of the Lord shown around them. Yes, the glory of the Lord—as in a really bright light.

God’s light also lead the wise men. When they saw the star in the sky, they knew to follow it, to come and worship the newborn king. That story found in the book of Matthew. Some Bibles include a footnote wondering if the light of the star might have been the light of Jupiter and Saturn coming into alignment. Yes, the very same Jupiter and Saturn that came in alignment last week in our night sky.

God’s light of love, joy, peace, and hope came into a world darkened by Roman rule, Roman oppression. God’s light of love, joy, peace, and hope also comes into our dark time of illness and death, unemployment and uncertainty, separation and isolation.

But after Christmas, the lights come down. The candles get put away. But God’s light continues on, not in the light of things, but His light in us. God’s light of Love, Joy, Peace, and Hope are a part of each one of us. We shine His light in who we are and what we do. Yes, we show up differently—whether we’re on a virtual call or in an emergency room.

A couple weeks ago my husband, Kurt, suggested I talk about God’s light. Little did I know then that his Mom would be the shining example. You see—I saw God’s light in my mother-in-law last weekend.

Phyllis is 89. Some lights in her life have been put away: the light of a wonderful teaching career when she retired, the light of her volunteer work during the pandemic, the light of a beautiful 60-year marriage when my father-in-law passed away last year.

But there in a hospital gown in a hospital bed getting hospital care was God’s light in my mother-in-law’s smile, her kind words, her reassurance that that their little poke with just fine with her.

Shining God’s Light

More important than who we are is whose we are. Whether we’re 89 or 29, 49 or 69, you and I will have times when our lights are bright—in our careers, our parenting, our friendships. You and I will also have times when some lights get put away—when careers change, when our circumstances change, when family dynamics change.

But amidst the changes is God’s light—which never changes. God’s light shines in the brightest moments, also in the darkest. God’s light knows no end.

On Christmas we light the Christ candle. It’s often in the center of the advent wreath with God’s light of love, joy, peace, and hope surrounding it.

In some worship services, the light of the Christ candle is carried out of the church when the other candles are extinguished. Why? Because it’s a bright, beautiful reminder that God’s light leads us in all that we do. It also reminds us that we carry God’s light into the world—each one of us!

I close with two verses of “The First Noel.”

They looked up and saw a star / Shining in the east beyond them far

And to the earth it gave great light / And so it continued both day and night

Noel, Noel / Born is the King of Israel!

And by the light of that same star / Three Wise men came from country far

To seek for a King was their intent / And to follow the star wherever it went

Noel, Noel / Born is the King of Israel!

Happy New Year! May you also follow God’s star wherever it goes. May God’s light shine in you both day and night.

Deanna is the author of two books, Fruit of My Spirit and Signs in Life.

Deanna Nowadnick author

Hi, I'm Deanna

I am a writer and speaker who loves helping women of faith connect our delightfully ordinary stories to God’s extraordinary love and faithfulness, so we can be encouraged and empowered knowing God’s been in the details–always has been, always will be.

Enter Your Information Below to Join My Newsletter List

* indicates required

Recent Posts: