Let Your Light Shine

We’ve been to the manger. We’ve brought gifts. The party is over. The regular routine and/or chaos of our daily lives has begun again. Today, as I write this reflection, my eyes rest on our nativity scene still sitting on a table in the corner of our living room. The stable, made by my daughter and her husband the first Christmas after they were married, looks dejected. . It’s been nineteen years and the grass roof is ragged. The inexpensive olive wood figures, special only because I brought them home from Israel, are lifeless and hard to see. Several weeks ago, when I set up the scene, the only old fashioned Christmas light bulb I could find, was a dim blue. Thus, the scene is in darkness except for a wavering blue light shining above the baby Jesus.
Our beautiful Christmas tree, it’s hundreds of tiny lights still sparkling triumphantly, casts a shadow on the quiet humble manger. For a moment my mind is caught by the humility and darkness of the crèche and the magnificent brightness of the tree. The difference, of course, is the number of lights.
I am reminded that Jesus, as God with us, was one man, one light. His task was to bring the light of God’s love to one, twelve, twenty, maybe even a thousand souls. Since his birth, men and women have received his teaching, his healing, his forgiveness, his love and been called to pass it on to others. Each time love is offered, a new light shines in the darkness. Already there are millions of love lights shining around the world. Today, I have a vision of world so full of light, that the darkness of greed, hatred, war, poverty is gone. That is the Christian hope, and I believe the hope of all religions.
I want to be a light for at least one person every day in 2010. I want to carry God’s torch of love even on the days I feel cranky, exhausted, hurt, defeated. The Wise Men came to Bethlehem and brought their gifts just as we do every year. They listened to God and returned home a different way. My prayer for 2010 is that all of us, religious and non religious, strike out on a new path committed to love, understanding and acceptance. Let’s see how much light we can give the world this year.

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