Is your heart filled with Christmas light?

Chances are you might be considering taking down the Christmas lights already or wondering if you can get away with leaving them up year 'round. But does the light of Christmas still shine in your life?

St. John called Jesus the, "Light that shines in the darkness," in John chapter one. The darkness is our world. It is a world of night, a world of sin. You see that sin as you go about your daily life. You see that sin in the pain of disease, in the hatred that is in the world, in the wars that never cease, in the innocent people hurt and killed.

And perhaps this Christmas the darkness was a little darker. You look at the dinner table and someone who should be there isn't. Or you are reminded of painful holiday memories from years before, a tragedy or some other terrible thing that always seems to take place around the holidays.

This is the darkness that lives around us.

But we don't have to live in that darkness. Why not gather around the light of the stable where Jesus was born? Outside is the darkness, but here, here is the Light of the World. That light takes away our darkness. That light chases the darkness of sin away because that light came to be light. Jesus was born to live like no other--to live perfectly. His life was lived in harmony with God's will. He did what we try to do, but he did it perfectly. And he offered the light of his perfect life as a sacrifice--a payment, really--for the darkness of this world's sin.

So Christmas is really about the dawning of something better and more hopeful. Christmas is the dawning of God's light in this world of darkness. Christmas is the dawning of the Day of Christ, a day that culminates in his death and resurrection, a day that ends when he comes to take his people home. And on that Great Day, he will forever put an end to the darkness of sin and we will live in eternity's light.

So in the midst of this world dark sin, you have a reason to shine with light. You can put away the sadness of your heart and live with a real joy in the light of Christ. You can spread that light to others by being a good person, getting rid of sin, and fixing your wrongs. You can let that light you see here fill your heart and fill your life and fill your home with the Light of Christmas.