By Ben Hayes
The Christmas season is upon us! It seems like just yesterday it was the first day of school, Halloween and Thanksgiving have gone flying by, and we’ve arrived at the Christmas Season. As we put up trees, hang decorations, listen to wonderful Christmas music, and snuggle up in front of fires drinking hot chocolate, the Christmas Spirit comes alive. We share stories this season of Christmas past, and fond memories of when we were children. For some of us this will be the first Christmas where we have children of our own, while others will think about loved ones who aren’t with us this year. It seems as if the whole world comes alive with a glow of lights and the spirit of the holiday!
Last year was the first Christmas in California for my wife, our son and me. It’s been an adjustment getting into the Christmas spirit without the snow and extreme cold of Canada. We attended the Winter Wonderland in Tulare. As we were wandering around the Tulare county fairgrounds looking at all of the wonderful light displays, our son who was one at the time, had a smile from ear to ear, and his eyes sparkled with the glow of lights. The ones he really liked he would point at and say ‘wow’. As I was wandering around looking at all of the displays and enjoying the moment, it dawned on me that there wasn’t a lot of light to help people walk; there weren’t big flood lights or street lights for people to find their way. Why weren’t there? Quite simple. Because they weren’t needed, there were so many other lights, we were easily able to walk.
John 1 talks about a Light coming into the world that would be the true light and would give light to all the world. We know that John was talking about Jesus and all that he would do. At the end of Jesus’ ministry He commissioned us to go and be like Him. So, this Christmas season, let’s do that. Let’s be light to those around us. Your neighbor or family friend that you know may have lost a loved one this year, invite them to come spend some time with you. That young family who is trying to juggle bills, family and presents, offer to buy their children a few toys, or bring them a food hamper. Perhaps you’re dreading the ‘family get together.’ This year be thankful for the family that you have, and be a light during the time you are gathered.
This Christmas season, let’s do more than just the regular Christmas traditions, let’s make an effort to be a light during this time.
Ben Hayes is youth pastor at the Church of God of Exeter. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-592-2631.
Prays Together is a rotating column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.