Happy week of Christmas! Did the festivities begin this past weekend for any of you? Christian and I fulfilled another one of our traditional Christmas dates yesterday by going to our annual Christmas movie… we saw Star Wars! For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, don’t worry- nothing I’m about to say isn’t anything we didn’t already know so consider this spoiler-free. While I LOVED it (and I’m not even a Star Wars fanatic), there was one part in the movie that really got to me, I’m talking hit me hard. I felt incredibly emotional as I watched this particular scene, even bothered and upset to the point where had I been holding a remote I may have even turned it off. Just like all the Star Wars movies, this part specifically focused on choosing between the light side or the dark side… good vs. evil. And as I sat there in my seat, I just thought – but this is real life… this isn’t just a character in a story or the plot of a movie. I stared at the character as he struggled to choose good over evil, ultimately choosing evil, and it was almost too much for me to watch. I thought of Paris and Syria. I thought of the recent events in our own country, involving people who chose the dark over the light, and all of a sudden I wasn’t just sitting there watching Star Wars anymore. It wasn’t just an actor playing a role, this wasn’t a form of entertainment anymore, it really bothered me. These things were real life. And I wondered if anyone else in the theater thought it too, as a lump formed in my throat and the tears formed quickly in my eyes. There is so much dark in this world.
But, just as quickly as the fear had crept in, the light and the hope filled my heart like a piercing reminder that there is also so much light in this world. I remembered that not even all the darkness in the world could extinguish even the smallest spec of light (John 1:5), and just as the theater began to cheer for the hero, my heart was reminded of our own real-life hero… the one who came to this earth as that very light so that we would always have the choice of choosing hope over despair, light over darkness.
I have come into the world as light, so that no one who believes in me need remain in the dark. John 12:46
One of my favorite moments each year at Christmastime is the Christmas Eve church service when everyone lights a candle and sings O, Holy Night. I cry every. single. year. as I hold my candle and look around the church at all the other candles and think, wow – there is so much light and hope filling this space right now, I wonder what this looks like from Heaven. And I then always think about what our world might look like if we all kept those lights burning year round… if we kept that hope so close to our souls for 365 days of the year… if we chose to not only choose light every single day but more importantly- if we consciously extended that light to others who needed it too. (Because everyone is in need of hope.) Can you imagine how our world might change? The truth is, “the force” is real. That force is His light – something that forever remains within us once we have accepted it… the force is His never-ending love – a love so great it saves. And for me, that is the greatest gift we could ever receive, that is the reason of the season… it’s the reason for it all.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, filled with lots of hope and so much light – for this new year and for always.
What are you grateful for?