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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Today’s Reading | John 1:6–9

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. (NRSV)

Christmas lights aren’t what they used to be, and this is a good thing. Old Christmas lights were these little glass bulbs, they weren’t really bright, they got extremely hot, and they would break and leave lovely razor-sharp edges. Decorating was a lot more dangerous in the old days—it was a rare year when you’d get away without burns or bloodshed. And let’s not even talk about the wiring and the worries that a short or a hot bulb would ignite a dried tree.

Those days are gone, but that doesn’t mean that hanging Christmas lights has magically become an easy thing. Staring at the tangled mess that you swear you carefully coiled last year can still leave a lump in the pit of your stomach. Step outside and you can see city crews with trucks and lifts and every mechanical aid you could ever want—it still takes days, in bad weather to boot.

Preparing the way for anything is not the fun part. The holidays are full of chores—decorating, shopping, baking, wrapping, cooking—and it can seem oppressive. It’s easy to feel beaten down by the sheer work of it all. But without the prep work, there is no feast. It’s a dark time of year until someone untangles the lights, and that chore is made easier by the knowledge of how beautiful the light will be.

When all is said and done, those lights are lovely things when the days are short and night comes early. Nothing lifts the spirit like a beautiful light in the darkness. So, in this time when we celebrate the light of Christmas, let’s also give thanks for the ones who do the work so that the light may be seen.

Lord, you have given us all the chore of preparing the way for the light. Let us go through our work with knowledge of the joy that the light brings to everyone. Amen.

Written by Rob Koon, Coordinator of Fine Arts

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