The Light That Pushed Back The Darkness

Sydney Page, in an article for the Washington Post, writes: “It started in November with a single string of Christmas lights on a Baltimore County street. Kim Morton was home watching a movie with her daughter when she received a text from her neighbor who lives directly across the road. He told her to peek outside. Matt Riggs had hung a string of white Christmas lights, stretching from his home to hers. He also left a tin of homemade cookies on her doorstep. The lights, he told her, were meant to reinforce that they were always connected.
Riggs said, ‘I was reaching out to Kim to literally brighten her world.’ He knew his neighbor was facing a dark time. Morton had shared that she was dealing with depression and anxiety. She was also grieving the loss of a loved one and struggling with work-related stress. The mounting pressure led to panic attacks. A bit of brightness was in order, he decided, but he certainly did not expect that his one strand of Christmas lights would somehow spark a neighborhood-wide movement. In the days that followed Riggs’ light-hanging gesture, neighbor after neighbor followed suit, stretching lines of Christmas lights from one side of the street to the other.
When Leabe Commisso, who lives on the other end of the block, saw what Riggs had done, she wanted in. She said, to her neighbor, ‘Let’s do it, too. Before we knew it, we were cleaning out Home Depot of all the lights.’ Quickly, other neighbors caught on. Kim said, ‘Little by little, the whole neighborhood started doing it. The lights were a physical sign of connection and love.’
She and Riggs were stunned to see neighbors with drills and ladders, up on their rooftops and tangled in trees, doing whatever they had to do to hang the lights. For the first time in a long time, a feeling of togetherness—and light—had returned. Riggs said, ‘What blows my mind is that it was all organic. It just happened. There was no planning. It just grew out of everybody’s desire for beauty and joy and connection.’ But the impromptu effort has perhaps had the most profound impact on the person for whom it was originally intended. Kim said, ‘It made me look up, literally and figuratively, above all the things that were dragging me down. It was light pushing back the darkness.’”

When I read this, I couldn’t help but think about The Light that came into the world 2000 years ago and Pushed Back the Darkness and despair of sin in order to reconnect heaven with earth, God with man. The Bible says, “The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:16)

The Wise Men were led by the light of the Star of Bethlehem to Jesus and the Shepherds in the field were surrounded by the light of God’s glory announcing the Savior’s arrival. Each week of this season we light a new advent candle. Ever wonder why we put up Christmas lights???  Oh yeah, even the lights on our houses celebrate the birth of the light of the world. “…Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12) Thank you Lord for being our light and pushing back the darkness!

Kids Christmas Celebration
Our Kids Christmas Celebration is this Sunday from 5:00-6:00 PM. Few things are more enjoyable than watching our children sing about Jesus. I hope you’ll join us as we kick off the Christmas season.

Let’s Finish Strong
Our year is almost over. Let’s Give generously, let’s Worship joyfully, and let’s Walk obediently all the way into the new year. And remember, God is always trying to take us someplace new. I love being your Pastor!

Merry CHRISTmas,
Pastor Ray

Photo by Mark Rabe Unsplash
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