My grandson Elijah was spending the day with me while his mom was out shopping with my wife. One of our projects that day was putting up the Christmas tree. I just knew it would be a memorable moment when I plugged in the lights and he saw them for the first time. He’s been watching and waiting for Christmas “‘ites” for weeks. I was not disappointed. His delighted “Oh-Oh” still makes me laugh out loud.
What is it about Christmas ‘ites that excites and delights people of every age? We’ll stop to look at house with simple candles in the window as well as those covered with thousands of colored bulbs. We’ll go out of our way to drive by those homes that are lit up in creative ways. We’ll climb ladders, walk roofs and wrap trees to light up our homes and yards. We’ll got for walks at night, as dark lonely streets suddenly come to life with the rhythmic blinking of strings of lights. We’ll stop and pause, on foot or in our cars, just to gaze at a brightly lit home we never really noticed before. Unsightly strings hanging from eaves take on magical shapes and designs when darkness comes and all that can be seen is the light.
Just as a starry sky on a clear cool night reminds us of that night out side of Bethlehem lit up by a multitude of the heavenly host, perhaps a simple string of lights takes us back to that earthly moment of heavenly glory. And who wouldn’t like some of that as we pray and wait for the brightness of a new day in a world where there is far too much darkness.