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Lights in the Darkness

Fuller California Coast MA student Jill Brubaker, who loves Christmas lights and the transformation they bring, suggests ways we can be lights with our lives.

Lumpkin - lights on street

Photo by Matt Lumpkin (MDiv ’11)

Although dressing up is fun, and rarely do I turn down a free piece of chocolate, I really do not like giant toy tarantulas, angry pumpkins, and fang-filled frights! And so, one of my most favorite times of year is when the creepy crawly Halloween decorations get put back in their boxes, and I anxiously wait for that very first home to initiate the Christmas season with holiday lights! Whether outlining the trim of a house, twinkling on a tree through the window, or attached to a motion activated Santa Claus, there is just something so magical about how these lights change the vibe of a home, street, and city. I remember growing up and every year visiting a particular street known for its amazing Christmas lights and displays. Any other night of the year this street would be too dark or scary to walk around, but during the holiday season it was transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, where families came from all over to stroll around and share in joy, peace, love, hot chocolate, and laughter.

We are about to celebrate a momentous event in history, when God gifted the world with an unending display of light through the birth of his Son, Jesus. Jesus turned everyday communities into places of peace, love, and joy. His light challenged brokenness, injustice, and wickedness, championed for the lost, poor, and needy, and ushered in peace, unity, and reconciliation—and he calls us all to do the same! He calls us to be the lights of the world—not only during the holiday season but each and every day of our life.

And so, as the classic hustle and bustle moves into full swing, may we be reminded and reignited with the passion of Christ to bring the light of this season into our homes, offices, PTA meetings, courtrooms, churches, and personal relationships, and to find unique and unexpected ways to usher in peace: reconcile a broken relationship, buy a stranger a cup of coffee, offer the final parking spot to our vehicular nemesis, compliment someone on a job well done, or simply make eye contact with one another and offer a cheerful smile.

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