God used a decades-old decoration to shine His light into my heart and into our Christmas celebration.
After my husband affixed our lighted three-feet-tall Christmas star to the front of the house, he said, “Instead of adding white lights all the way across the shrubbery this year, I think I’ll only put them on the corner bushes. The star shines brighter when it’s the only light at the center of the house.”
His observation led my thoughts to the star over the manger and a question. Am I allowing the light of Christ Jesus to shine brightly as I celebrate Christmas, or are the competing “lights” of activity in my life interfering with His glow?
I turned to Matthew, chapter two, and read the familiar account of the original Christmas star. The magi journeyed to Jerusalem, then to Bethlehem by following a divine GPS—the light of a brilliant star. Unhindered, the heavenly light moved ahead of them through the night sky, then stopped above the house where Mary and Joseph lodged.
When the visitors saw the Christ Child, they “fell down and worshiped Him,” then presented kingly gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11 NASB).
Like the magi, we can rejoice at the birth of the Savior, worship Him, and give gifts to honor Him. But first, let’s fix our gaze on the Lord as firmly as the ancient travelers did, and ensure that no other “lights” or distractions divert our attention and overshadow His light.
Let’s ask ourselves the following questions to help us keep our gaze on the Lord so that His light shines forth from our celebration.
- Am I enjoying His presence while I purchase and wrap presents?
- Am I feasting on His Word before I plan dinner for family and baked goods for neighbors?
- Am I listening for His voice while I enjoy the sounds of the season?
- Am I spending more time talking with God than I spend chatting about my to-do list?
- Am I allowing the love of Jesus to shine to others instead of letting my expectations hinder relationships?
- Who will see the light of Christ shining from my life this Christmas season?
Now that I’ve pondered these questions, my heart is refocused, and my to-do list is shorter. (Confession: If filling the calendar were an Olympic sport, I’d win a gold medal. Activity can quickly consume my thoughts and divert my attention.) Although this month will be busy still, we’ll enjoy God’s presence and His peace more as we focus on Him.
Like the Christmas star led the magi to the manger, the Light of the World draws us to accept God’s eternal gift of salvation in Christ. Once we surrender our lives to Jesus, He produces joy and peace that shine from our hearts as the Christmas star shone from the heavens. We can tell others about the light of hope that led us to Him and the difference He makes in our daily lives.
Like the Christmas star led the magi to the manger, the Light of the World draws us to accept God’s eternal gift of salvation in Christ. Click To Tweet
Like the magi, believers have much to celebrate—the presence of our living Lord. In addition to prayer, Bible study, and worship, we can also honor Him when we sing, bake, shop, give gifts, laugh, and enjoy family and friends.
The translucent Christmas star on the front of our house takes center stage and shines brightly without the competition of other lights. May the light of Christ take center stage in our hearts and shine brightly as we celebrate His birth.
May the light of Christ take center stage in our hearts and shine brightly as we celebrate His birth. Click To Tweet
Please share your thoughts on ways to honor Jesus as we celebrate His birth and look forward to His sure return. And as you share them, think about our participation in all things Christmas. The following verses will help us keep our gaze on the Lord:
Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.Colossians 3:17 NASB
Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.Matthew 5:16 NASB
Here’s an excellent post by my friend, Sylvia Schroeder. Her descriptions of the magi presenting gifts led me to worship. https://sylviaschroeder.com/my-christmas-gift-bought-with-a-childs-heart/
28 thoughts on “Let His Light Shine This Christmas”
Lovely. Simple and memorable message – keep the main thing the main thing. Sunday I sang in our annual Christmas concert. I felt we honored God by focusing on the message of the songs – they ministered to me so deeply! And we truly worshipped Him. I continue singing the lyrics because I want to, but they keep reminding me: “Hope has a Name – Emmanuel.”
Barb, I’m glad you mentioned music. Christmas music that honors Christ rivets our focus to Him. I’m glad you ministered through song and now have the memories that reverberate in your mind and heart. I’m looking forward to our church’s musical presentation this weekend. Thanks so much, Barb, for commenting.
Both inspiring and convicting Ms. Jeannie. I couldn’t help but think of the words of John the Baptist, written in John 3:30. God’s blessing’s ma’am. You blessed me mightily this morning.
J. D., thank you for sharing that verse with us. “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30 NKJV). I, too, was inspired and convicted by the Lord’s message to me. Now I believe my Christmas activity will be more peaceful and enjoyable as I focus on Him, the reason we celebrate all year long. Christmas blessings to you.
Our family has a birthday cake and sings happy birthday to Jesus on Christmas day.
I love that tradition, Kimberly. What a perfect way to keep Him center stage in our minds and hearts. Thank you so very much for reading and commenting. Merry Christmas to you and your family as you honor Christ.
Excellent checkpoint questions I need to refer to daily, What wonderful points and reminders you share here, Jeannie!
Candyce, I didn’t think of that, but the questions would be helpful beyond the Christmas season. Thank you for pointing that out, and thank you for reading and adding to our conversation. I tend to overload my plate, so asking myself questions like these helps me focus on the Lord during busy days.
You ask some soul-penetrating questions, Jeannie. Such a good reminder that I am not the star of this season (or any, for that matter).
Annie, I like your statement that we’re not the star of Christmas or any other time. We are loved by the Father, but He is the central focus of our lives. Christmas reminds us of that fact and helps us enter a new year with our eyes on Him. I appreciate your comment so much.
I find my calendar overly filled, too, Jeannie. Thank you for this inspiring message and the doable suggestions to help us shine the Light of Christmas for others.
Katherine, I appreciate you reading the post and taking the time to add a comment. What an honor it is to “shine the Light of Christmas for others.” The questions helped me think more about the presence of God than my to-do list. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the activities instead of enthralled with the One I serve. May He remind us all this season.
A beautiful reminder that praising and thanking God for the birth of Jesus should be on my calendar every day throughout this season.
Sherry, I love the way you said, “Praising and thanking God for the birth of Jesus should be on my calendar every day throughout this season.” How wise you are to put it that way. During busy seasons our days are often calendar-driven. Starting our days with God can remind us that He is the center of our worship and our daily lives. I appreciate your comment so much, Sherry.
Thanks so very much for including a ink to my blog post. I loved the questions Jeannie. It is so easy for me to “defuse” the light and not let His shine brightest in this busy season. Thank you for the reminder!
Sylvia, I was honored to share the link to your beautiful blog post. Yes, it’s easy for me, too, to “‘defuse’ the light and not let His shine brightest in this busy season.” I agree. I plan to reflect on the questions throughout the holiday to ensure I worship before I tackle the to-do list and include Him in conversation throughout the day. Thanks so much, Sylvia.
I love the way you used the star to remind us of our priorities. Letting the light of Christ shine brighter than any other light will show the world why He came. Thank you for sharing this beautiful example, Jeannie. Merry Christmas!
I love your statement, “Letting the light of Christ shine brighter than any other light will show the world why He came.” Yes, indeed it will. When we put Jesus first in Christmas activity, we avoid stress and needless worry as we worship and draw closer to Him. Merry Christmas, Barbara, and thanks for your comments.
As I read about His light, the sun made a presence through my window for the first time today…it was gone before I finished the entire blog. But unlike the clouds we have today covering up our sunshine, Jesus’ light never goes out on us! This has truly been evident in my life now, at a time I most need Him. I take time to see, really see all He offers, especially the night sky with all the glorious stars He displays for us!
This season of celebrating Jesus’ birth, I simply pause, be still, and thank Him for all things, even little things like hearing my favorite Christmas song(Oh HolyNight), neighbors window/tree lights, a greeting in the mail, AND big ones like all the lights in the night sky!
Thank you Jeannie, this was a peaceful read, bless you!
Traci, your words are beautiful and draw our attention to the One who makes the sunlight that shines through your window and the stars that decorate the night sky. We don’t have to look far to see His work in creation and in our lives, do we? I’m thankful you can sense His presence at this time in your life. What a blessing. I loved reading about your practice of pausing and thanking Him for the large and small blessings that mean so much. Thank you for taking the time to share with us. Your comments mean a lot. Merry Christmas, Traci.
The song O Holy Night is my favorite. It helps me regain my focus. I work in a music department at a high school. My office sits between the orchestra and the band. Both groups are playing it. I sit there and pray and remember why we celebrate when I hear them play it. I pray each kid playing would know the meaning of what the song is about.
Oh, Jen, what a prime prayer position you are in, and what a ministry to work in the high school! I’m sure God will honor your prayers. May God bless you as you pray for those high school students. “O Holy Night” does lead us to worship, doesn’t it? Thank you so much for sharing a wonderful way to worship and to minister to others through prayer.
Thank you, Jeannie, for the reminder of Whose light is most important this season. It’s so easy to get caught up on all “the things.” I love your questions and know they’ll help keep me focused these next few weeks (and hopefully beyond!).
Leigh, you’re right that “it’s so easy to get caught up in all ‘the things.'” I’m glad you found the questions helpful. I did, too, and like you, I hope to remember them. When we focus on God first, everything else is sweeter.
Wonderful, encouraging word Jeannie. Thank you!
Thanks so much, Terri. I appreciate you reading and leaving a comment. I know I need encouragement at busy times to keep my focus where it should be–on Jesus. Christmas is so much more enjoyable and peaceful when we let His light shine into our hearts and spill out to others.
I love how your husband’s comment about how the star would shine brighter without the other distracting lights led to this wonderful lesson: “May the light of Christ take center stage in our hearts and shine brightly as we celebrate His birth. ” Such a good reminder for us all as we navigate through the holiday activities! Thank you, Jeannie!
I agree, Kathy. His statement has been an appropriate reminder to me in this busy season when it’s easy to keep going without enough quiet time to spend with God. May His light shine brightly from our lives all year. Thanks so much, Kathy.