If you could go back in American history to experience Christmas dinner and conversation with a typical family of that day, which of the following years would you want to go back to?
a. 1620, the year the Mayflower arrived.
b. 1787, the year the Constitution was signed.
c. 1863, midway through the American Civil War.
d. 1899, the turn of the century.
I think I would have to go with d, the turn of the century.
Have you ever noticed that when you open a closet door, the room you're in doesn't get darker? Instead, the closet gets lighter! That's what the verse in John means when it says, "The light shines in the darkness: the darkness can never put it out!" (John 1:5, Simple English Bible). "The Light" that verse was talking about is Jesus! Jesus came to fill our hearts with light. And He promises that if you will open the door of your heart to Him, He will come in and make it light! He will do for us exactly what happened with the closet.
Before Jesus came, there were no pastors or missionaries. There were priests and prophets, but they taught that someday the Messiah - the Savior - would come and help them find God again. Then into this darkness, Jesus was born.
The Bible calls Jesus the Light of the world. He is the Messiah that the prophets said would come someday. He is the One who would give us a light to find our way back to God. If you're lost and can't find you way, what do you use to find your way around? A light! That's why God sent Jesus and called Him a light...so that Jesus could help us find God and not be "lost in the darkness of sin" any more.
When we put lights on our house and Christmas tree, or put candles around the house at Christmastime, it's to remind us that Jesus came to be our light. The next time you're driving around and you see a Christmas tree or some beautiful lights on a house, you'll know why they're there! Because Jesus is the Light of the world!
-The 25 Days of Christmas by Rebecca Hayford Bauer
The first picture is of the massive 50-year-old Christmas cactus that my parents inherited from my grandfather. It's a treat every year when it blooms. The second picture is picture that my dad took of the snow in my parents' backyard this morning! Sadly, I missed it, but I guess I can't really complain about getting to spend time with my fiancé in Dallas.