At the beginning of the week, I walked late in the evening to the front of my house to put the garbage bins out. Surprisingly enough, I saw half of the street greatly illuminated with Christmas lights. The neighbors from three houses down, on both sides of the street, had decorated not only the front of their houses, front and roof, but also extended the lights over the road, making an arch of lights over the street on their side.
This has been a difficult year for us. With the low amount of work, the establishment of the Christian community in the house, the number of government prohibitions we had to sort, and the random threats I received for holding home services, I am really looking forward to a new year better than this one. But one of the things I don’t do, is putting the same amount of effort in light work the other neighbors do. It is expensive and for two people, me and my mother, I just don’t see the reason. My mother puts a single chain of lights on the front window and a couple of decorations on the front door and that’s it. We used to decorate the whole house 18 years ago, when I used to live with my kids and wife. But not since then.
But one thing I noticed, is that the families that decorate the street with those beautiful lights, are not Christians. One is a double level house with a large African family that always have groups of young guys parked in front of their house, listening to loud music. The other family across from them, is a family who takes electricity from the public posts in front of their houses and has an illegal motor mechanic garage in their rented property, and the other family is a Hindu family that worships an elderly woman.
That reminded me of the words of the Lord, when speaking about his Church, He said that it would grow so large, ‘that the birds of the air will come and nest in her branches.’
In Christmas, millions of unbelievers and skeptics celebrate a party. A family party, a friend’s party, but a secular party all the same. They have their Christmas tree full of presents, eat turkey and pork and sweets to satisfaction, and drink alcohol copiously. Even the news paper gets filled with adds selling products, and even adult venues advertising: ‘Come and celebrate Christmas with us’, under the picture of a naked girl wearing a Santa Claus’s hat.
JESUS was born most probably in September, but regardless, it is a celebration born from the love of his Church for her savior and the date is not important. Some good Christians object this saying that is a pagan festival, and that is sinful to celebrate it because it falls on an ancient Sun worship day. They do not take into account that Christmas was invented to commemorate Jesus incarnation and the salvation of the world, where no other consideration takes place. Only Jesus’s birth is taken into account, and we do not care about the Sun, or Moon or Mickey Mouse to celebrate the birth of our Lord.
But another thing is also true.
Lights, and a good dinner will not do. Pagans can ornament their homes and the streets and do what they do, but that has nothing to do with JESUS.
JESUS came to save us from eternal damnation, and his first priority is the conversion of mankind to Him as Lord and Savior. Jesus did not come to be danced, and sung, and clapped or be invited to a dinner. He wants to be born in our hearts. To make us all, to be born again as Children of the Most-High God of the Universe. If this does not happen, all the lights in the world will not do.
I pray to God for the conversion of these families, and the conversion of the whole world, so that the lights may be a reflection of the Light of Christ living within themselves for the Glory of God and the good of humanity.