I was worried I wouldn’t make it home before the flooding prevented my way back. I traveled two hours south for a medical appointment last week just before the deluge hit. All the way home I raced against water creeping menacingly toward the roadway, from rivers and valleys too waterlogged to hold any more. 

Two hours of gripping the steering wheel and hoping my path would be clear. I realized I’d been holding my breath when I rounded the corner to our house and immediately gulped in air. My husband had turned on all the outside lights to welcome me home. They melted my tension; a safe haven from the gloom, pelting rain, and panic to get home. Better than Motel 6, someone left the lights on for me.

That’s what Christmas is—a light shining into the darkened world, guiding the way, and welcoming people home.  They come from near and far, fearful of the unknown, longing to come in out of the storm, into the warmth and security of One who will love and hold them. That’s the message of nativity—God came down in person to shine His light and guide us home.
Until Jesus comes again—in His second Advent—the light continues to shine:  
Into the Darkness of the World
 Jesus said, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness” (John 12:46). Even though the darkness is palpable, His light beams through the murky depths of hatred, ignorance, deceit, and doubt. The darkness cannot overcome it. People can choose to turn away from the light and continue to stumble in darkness, but they cannot deny that it shines. And it will continue to send forth its rays of hope to draw all men to the babe in the manger who gave himself so freely for us all.
In Our Own Dark Places
We all have times when darkness is all we can see. Difficulties topple on us like dominos until we can’t seem to see anything except confusion and sinking blackness. Even though God has never let me down in the forty years I’ve called Him Lord, I still struggle to trust Him completely. Luke 11:35 has become my theme verse this year. God spoke directly to my aching heart when I read, “See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.”He reminded me to keep my eyes to the light. (See my post on March 23rd, “See to It!” if you missed it: http://bethvice.blogspot.com/2015/03/see-to-it.html). 
Christmas shines into the shadows of worry and defeat which weigh us down. Christmas brings JOY to the darkened soul, lifting our spirits and putting everything in perspective. Our trials are temporary; the light of Jesus is eternal.

Shining Through Us
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us (2 Cor. 4:6-7). Let’s face it, we have feet of clay—made of dust and to dust returning. We’re fallible mortals cracked and pieced together by Christ’s love. That’s what makes us perfect vessels to display His light. Through our imperfections and brokenness God shines through. 
I pray in this week before Christmas you will witness Jesus shining into our world, into your own heart, and through you to a frightened world. They’re holding their breath until they can find their way home. Shine through us, Lord Jesus; may the world see you.