This Little Light of Mine
By: Noelle Kirchner
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. - John 1:1-5
I turn on the news. There is shelling in a country overseas. A destitute mother is interviewed. Her children have not had access to running water to bathe nor toilets for four days. Aid cannot reach them due to danger.
I run errands. I see a young woman leaving a church across the street as I’m parking. Her baby appears to be around the same age as mine. She has gone to the church for provisions. She approaches a cab with no car seat as I eye mine in the backseat.
My husband and I share dinner with friends. We start talking about pets, and I mention our cat. My friend lights up and mentions how she wants to adopt one but her husband is tentative. “I used to work for a rescue,” she says. “I can still see all of those cats pawing through their cages, waiting for someone to adopt them."
There is need everywhere I turn. Sometimes the need is distant, but lately, it’s hitting close to home. It’s overwhelming. It seems so big and my hands feel so small. What can one person do to curb these sweeping issues and others that affect our communities and world?
There is one person who made and continues to make a substantial difference: Jesus. Our passage tells us who Jesus is. Jesus is the Word, Life, Light, and God. Each claim holds rich biblical meaning and significance. Jesus as the Word was not only present at creation, but actively sustains it as Light and Life in our lives.
Interestingly, the activity of the light is in the present tense while the activity of the darkness is in the past tense in our passage. From the moment of creation on, Light has been and continues to shine through Jesus. The darkness has not been able to “overcome” or “understand” this light, depending upon the translation we read, and either translation holds merit.
When Christmas occurs on our calendar relays this significance. In the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas falls around the winter solstice. The days are the longest and darkest at that point and begin to progressively get lighter. The calendar, therefore, echoes the Christ child’s theological role as the bearer of Light.
Jesus offers something attractive and necessary not only in our personal lives but to the world. When we feel overwhelmed with the trouble or darkness around us, we remember why we need Jesus and his work. Jesus came back to redeem in person what he had a hand in creating and is involved with today.
That makes me think that the best gift we can give this Christmas is to find at least one way to shine his light. Even an ordinary but intentional offering isn’t trivial, for it reflects a much larger, stronger Light. We could provide a Christmas meal, donate goods to refugees, make a phone call to a shut-in, or sow a seed of peace in our families. If we all do this, imagine how we can collectively make our world glow.
Want more ideas on honoring Jesus this Christmas? Check out my Christmas article for iBelieve.
Rev. Noelle Kirchner, MDiv., believes we don’t have to live with full schedules and thin souls. A busy mom of three boys, she is passionate about making faith fresh and relevant. Noelle is a graduate of Princeton Seminary and an ordained Presbyterian minister who has served in churches for over ten years. She has written for places like the TODAY Show Parenting Team, Huff Post Parents, The Laundry Moms, and (in)courage. Her faith and family cable television show, Chaos to Calm, features parenting hot topics and has hosted two New York Times bestselling authors. Watch her episodes or sermons, connect with her on social media, and follow her blog by visiting her website, or receive her free devotional e-book.
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