The Light of the World
by Katie Smylie
December 25, 2019
We have a real tree this year for the first time in years. It was new to have a fresh tree, but the traditions are still the same. We decorated it while listening to the same Christmas music we always listen to. The kids still argued about who got to put up the special ornaments and Kevin drank eggnog out of that weird-looking Santa mug he’s had since we got married. The girls helped me string up all the lights outside so the house would glow, just how we like it. So much about Christmas is the same from year to year. Sure, move to a new place or change your hair, but do not mess with the Santa mug. That stays the same.
Each year, we come back to the story of the birth of Christ as a tradition. We revisit it while the lights glow and there are presents under the tree. The manger scene goes up to remind us of the humility of Christ. We remember and rehearse the love that God has for his people. When life feels good, the season is warm and delightful. But when circumstances press in, we are tempted to close our eyes and opt out until January.
It’s been one of those years when hiding sounds like a good idea. A series of accidents and strange happenings have left me overwhelmed and overstimulated. Maybe the scent of this fresh tree is too strong, but much of this season feels like it’s shouting at me. The twinkling lights are like a freeway billboard for the Light of the World. The presents we cannot help but buy are a bull horn, announcing God’s gift of love. It is not the presence of God that is jarring to me, it is my need that feels a bit in my face.
The truth is that even when all is peaceful and we are all healthy, the need for Jesus cannot be erased. All mankind needs for Christ to be real and break through our desperation to bring salvation from sin and death. And He has. Take a moment to breathe and let that truth sink in.
You need a savior.
Your Savior has come.
The God who sees your need is with you. This world is full of trouble, but the birth of our Savior gives reason to hope. There will come a day when we will fully enjoy the Light of the World without any trouble at all.
*Pictured poem written by Katie’s daughter, Megan Smylie at the age of six.
Katie Smylie needs white lights on her Christmas tree and has been listening to the Beach Boys Christmas album while decorating for many, many years.
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