I relish the turning of the seasons, particularly this time of year as the days begin to lengthen. Early one day this week, I was outside putting out the trash bin. It was that time of the morning just before dawn with the sky turning lighter in the east. As I stood there looking at the sky, I noticed that my neighbors a few doors down still had their Christmas lights on their back yard fence.
I thought to myself, “How silly is that. They still have their Christmas lights up.” However, as I thought about it, I wondered if they simply didn’t have time to take them down or if maybe they were just being lazy. Then it occurred to me that perhaps something had happened in their lives to prevent them from taking the lights down. Then I thought, “What if they just like the lights?” What if, for them, the lights are a sign of hope in a dark, dark world? And what if the lights just bring them joy and a smile at the beginning or end of each day?
Of course, it was not lost on me that I was in the midst of taking out the trash. I couldn’t help but think about how, as each new day begins, you and I have a chance to welcome the light, the Word, into our lives, and that light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it. Each day, whether or not we’re busy, or overwhelmed with the circumstances of our lives, we get to “take the trash out” of our lives because of the promise of God’s light shining in the darkness to transform our lives and our living.
This Sunday, February 7, marks the end of the Season of Epiphany. This Sunday, we get to remember again that Jesus went up on a mountaintop where he heard a voice, reminiscent of the voice at his baptism say, “This is my Child, my Chosen, listen to Him.” And then Jesus’ entire countenance was changed and became dazzling white, a light shining in the darkness. And it was that encounter on the mountaintop that saw Jesus through the darkest moments of his life.
So, thank you, neighbors. Thank you for keeping your lights up on your back yard fence. Thank you for the reminder that even though our days and lives may be filled with darkness, the light of Jesus Christ continues to shine as each new day begins.
Holy One, open my eyes, my mind, my heart to see your light shining in the darkness. Fill me with that light so that I may be a light in your world to those most in need. Amen.