I’ve come to the conclusion that Christmas is better at night.

Driving around running errands the past few days, I’ve been completely under-impressed by trailing extension cords leading to bushes and trees, deflated “inflatables” of Santas and snowmen and Disney characters lying in heaps on front lawns, wire framed stars and grazing deer looking like just that – wire frames. Nothing special. Nothing to inspire holiday cheer.

But when night comes, those same “blah”, less than impressive characters and shapes will come to life. Against the backdrop of darkened skies, those front lawns and porches will light up, making children smile and those driving by take a second look.

Christmas is definitely better at night.

But wasn’t that the way it happened to begin with? Didn’t Jesus come when the world was dark and in desperate need of light? Didn’t the angels break forth at night, lighting up the sky with God’s glory? Didn’t the star need the blackness of night to be seen by the wise men?

Darkness sets the stage for the light.

Our world is pretty dark now, too. The news on the front pages and the leading stories on the TV make me cringe and make me sad. I shake my head, wondering if things can get any worse. And yet, this is the darkness that Jesus came for. This is the reason for Christmas – and the Cross.

Maybe the daytime disarray of unlit Christmas decorations should serve as a reminder to us of a world in need of light – the very first Christmas Light, the same Light that still shines today.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;Those who dwelled in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.  Isaiah 9:2

Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. Isaiah 60:1

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.  Matthew 2:10

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12

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