by Nancy Kay Grace
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.” Isaiah 60:1 NIV
Nostalgic Christmas scenes of candles, choirs, and colorful lights float through our minds as we prepare for our family celebrations. Unfortunately, most of the time those scenes remain in our imaginations, out of grasp of our reality. Often our expectations do not align with our actual situations.
The holiday stirs many emotions and memories. For some, it is a warm, joyful time of family gatherings. For others, it is extreme busyness and stress that causing our personal inner light to fade.
Have we settled for “Manger-lite,” only skimming the surface of the holiday with dressed up traditions? December activities inundate our calendars, ranging from sacred church programs, secular school assemblies, athletic schedules, rehearsals, as well as our preparations of shopping, decorating, wrapping, and baking—all with a deadline. Stress dulls our joyful hearts. We go through the motions of our schedules as we master our “To Do” lists, scurrying through the month with constant stress, wondering if we’re doing enough for our friends and family. If we get so caught up in the activity that we neglect the most important thing—celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Light of the World for our redemption in a quiet manger.
Here’s the thing—the world didn’t recognize Jesus as the gift of hope and light. He was born into the hectic season of census under harsh Roman rule. The light shone brightly in the night sky to the lowly shepherds. It lit the way for the wealthy magi. The Light of Jesus brought hope to a dark world over two thousand years ago, and continues to do so today.
Take a moment to breathe in the beautiful gift of Light in the Manger.
Pause to consider with new wonder how the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:14.) We don’t deserve this gift in the manger. It was given out of God’s deep love for us to be in relationship with Him, shining His light in our hearts.
Come close to the manger. Peer in it to see the Light of World (John 8:12). Exchange “Manger-lite” for the true Manger Light of Jesus to shine in your life.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1) Will you choose the true “Manger Light “to guide you through life?
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is the speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about God’s grace. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel.
Join the conversation: How will you draw closer to the Light of the World this Christmas?