The Brightest Light Display Ever
There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. Revelation 22:5
The lights appear at one house, then another, and another. Certain houses or neighborhoods are so spectacularly lit that people go out of their way to see the displays. I love these lights because they illuminate the darkest nights of the year when the sun shines less and less each day.
Many Christmas songs celebrate the star that lit up the night sky and led magi thousands of miles to Bethlehem. In the Christmas hymn “As with Gladness Men of Old,” hymn writer William C. Dix (born 1837) likened the magi’s journey led by the star’s light to the Christian life.*
As we consider the magi who followed the light, the hymn encourages us to pray: “So, most Gracious Lord, may we evermore your splendor see.” As they knelt in adoration, “so may we with willing feet ever seek your mercy seat.” As they offered rare gifts, may we “all our costliest treasures bring, Christ, to you, our heavenly King.”
The last two stanzas of Dix’s hymn ask the “Holy Jesus” to keep us in the narrow way as long as we live:
and when mortal things are past,
bring our ransomed lives at last
where they need no star to guide,
where no clouds your glory hide.
Then the hymn celebrates the brightest lights ever displayed:
In that glorious city bright
none shall need created light;
you its light, its joy, its crown,
you its sun which goes not down;
there forever may we sing
alleluias to our King!
We don’t have to wait until we die and go to heaven to walk in light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Although we still need the sun to light our earthly days, we have the “light of life” shining inside us no matter how dark our circumstances.
As you admire the created light displays this Christmas, celebrate the Light of the World who shines in your heart even on sunless days.
It’s easy to think of the magi as characters in a story or Christmas play, but they were real. Read their story in Matthew 2:1-12. Compare their search for Jesus with yours. How did they respond and how did you respond?
Using a concordance or source such as https://www.blueletterbible.org, do a word study on light. Start your search with these verses: Matthew 5:14-16 and 1 John 1:5-7. How can you improve your walk in the light?
Nancy J. Baker
*This devotion is part of our series Heaven.