In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
-John 1: 1-5
I love the lights on our Christmas tree. When our children were younger we would have them wait upstairs until we turned on the lights on the tree so that they would serve as a beacon of welcome; the light shined in the darkness and the light welcomed in joy.
Recently I heard about the light of Christmas really shining in the darkness in a totally different way. Have you heard of Operation Christmas that was conducted by the Colombian military? They have been fighting a guerrilla insurgency for decades. Deep in the darkness of the jungles the guerrillas would make their camps from which they waged war. Many of the guerrillas are children who were kidnapped and forced to become fighters. Most of their mothers never quit praying for their deliverance.
The Colombian military decided that rather than by fighting force with force they would welcome the light of Christmas into the darkness of the jungle. So they chose 9 trees, 75 feet tall that lined a path that the insurgents traveled. The trees were decorated with Christmas lights with messages that encouraged the guerrillas to lay down their weapons and come home. It worked! Hundreds of insurgents returned home safely to their families and now live in peace. Truly the light of Christ shines in the darkness and serves as a beacon to return home. To God be the glory!
No matter what battle or war you might be fighting in your life, may the light of Christ come into your life at Christmas and shine brightly in the darkness.
Prayer for Today
Shine your light into our lives, O God, so that our spirits will be renewed and we will live in your glorious peace. Amen.