Light. It is one of the most prominent symbols of the season. From the thousands of twinkling lights we adorn our trees, homes and landscape with, to the beautiful luminaries that line walks and the solitary candles in windows; the vision of Christmas without illumination just wouldn’t be the same.
There are many reasons people will say we use so many lights at Christmastime. From the most secular of “to help Santa find our house” to the most religious of “reinforcing the symbol for Jesus and the light he brings to earth even in the darkest times.” I believe the lights do both, but on an even more simple level, serve to remind us that there is light, hope and good in the world. We need that this Christmas more than ever.
Being the lone candle in the window in a world of darkness is a vivid symbol of hope. We’ve all see it repeatedly passed around in the picture used to solicit prayers and bind together a grieving nation for the senseless horror in Newton, CT. The story behind the picture is even more moving and an amazing example of The Gift of Illumination the we can give this season.
But it doesn’t take a national tragedy for you to give hope. You can give The Gift of Illumination and be a light of hope in your own community. Whether it is reaching out to a discouraged co-worker who is suffering and offering friendship, conversation and encouragement; finding time to buy a cup of coffee for that old friend you know is down on his luck and suffering, or spending an afternoon with that niece or nephew who has lost their way in life’s journey. Show love, compassion and empathy.
Be the light of hope and encouragement this season. How can you give light to help guide someone down life’s pathway? How can you give The Gift of Illumination?