Have you put up your Christmas lights yet? Adorning our trees and houses with lights is just one of the many traditions that help us celebrate the holidays but do we do it just because it is festive or is there another reason.
The tradition of lighting the Christmas tree began in 17th century Germany by Christians who put candles in the branches of their trees to signify that Christ is the light of the world. The candles were glued to the branches with melted wax or pinned in place.
The tradition of lights spread to Eastern Europe. Along with the lighted trees, the Europeans also placed a burning candle in the windows of their houses to signify that their house was a Christian house and that other Christians could come in and worship with them.
It is much more convenient now to decorate our homes with Christmas lights, but I have to wonder how many lights go up every year without a thought of the true light that was born that first Christmas. How many people in our world today put up lights because they are pretty or because they are trying to out do their neighbor without so much as a consideration for the true meaning of Christmas? I also wonder how many parents watch their children’s eyes twinkle underneath as they look up at the lights and fail to mention the birth of Jesus to them.
For those of us that know the real meaning of Christmas, do we speed through the holidays and forget to pause and be grateful that the light of the first Christmas came not only to the world but also to us personally? If we know this light then lets put our candle in the window and share him with others this season. Happy lighting!
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he 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) (NIV)