Isaiah 9:2-3a The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest


When I think about Christmas, it’s sometimes hard for me to separate the “worldly” stuff from the “REAL” stuff. The stuff like the presents and the lights and the parties are different from the angels and the manger and the baby. And, yet, they are so intertwined.

The evolution of the “secular” side of Christmas is so related, in my mind, to the above verses from Isaiah. After a year of slogging through the days, dinged on every side by the hurts and frustrations and darkness of everyday life, there it is – CHRISTMAS. We long for the lights and the carols and the hubbub. We deeply desire the feelings of joy the holiday promises. So we overwhelm the days with more and more twinkling decorations, more and more presents, more and more music, and more and more celebrations . . .


But isn’t that what that very first Christmas was? Lights from heaven, songs from angels, the gift beyond all gifts, celebrated by heaven and earth together? Sound familiar?


As you are celebrating this year, make room and time to store away in your heart some of the joy that comes from this season. When God sent us the gift of Jesus, it was sent to brighten and fill with joy even the darkest of days. I pray that you will truly know and receive that gift for yourself.

Amanda Lott