December 3, 2008

Something about Light 
by Katherine Britton, Crosswalk.com News & Culture Editor

“The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” – John 1:9

Folks in Richmond, Virginia, strive for an odd honor around Christmas time. The best and the bravest – and the most creative – set out to earn themselves a spot in that famous lineup, that renowned tour so many Richmonders take during December. Yes, my friends, they are vying for a coveted spot on the “Tacky Lights Tour.”

According to the rules, one’s house must be decorated by no fewer than 40,000 lights. Many of the die-hards start putting up their strings in September, readying their show for December 1. In a word, it’s incredible.

Even given all the goofy supersized snowmen, gingerbread houses, and flying reindeer I’ve seen on this tour, I have to admit I love driving around to look at Christmas lights. I know that many of the houses I look at will not belong to Christians. Nonetheless, all those little lights twinkling in the winter darkness show just how much light has entwined itself into Christmas, even for those who merely celebrate the cultural tradition.

It’s ironic, in a way – even those without faith recognize the beauty of light casting out darkness. And some of them make a really big display of it!

From “tacky lights” to the star on top of the tree to the quiet tradition of the Advent wreath, this holiday is littered with reminders that Jesus came as “the light of men” (John 1:4). Even among those who “do not understand it,” the light comes again this Christmas season. Amen.

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” – Isaiah 9:2

Intersecting Faith & Life: As you put up the Christmas tree and deck the halls, may you see the truth behind the traditions. From the evergreen tree to the holiday lights, may every symbol echo the glory of the eternal Light that shines in the darkness.

For Further Reading:  

Crosswalk the Devotional – Dec. 1, 2008 
Renew Your Family's Faith by Celebrating Advent