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Linda Beck: The lights of Christmas

By the time some of you get this newspaper, it will almost be Christmas! Many of you probably already have your decorations out and may even have your tree decorated.

Which decoration is your favorite? Well, I like the lights! When I was a child, Salisbury had the prettiest Christmas lights of any county in this part of North Carolina. They went across from one side of the street to the other on the two major streets in every block. At the square, they went up in a big point. A bright star hung down in the middle at the center of the square. If you were there when they turned the lights on at the beginning of the Christmas parade, it was absolutely breathtaking!

We were told that airplanes often changed their routes so passengers could see the lights from the air. (Remember, there were not as many planes flying back then.) Sometime around 1966, we were all disappointed when the city stopped putting those lights up but that was a result of this town’s growth and change. The power lines were put underground and they claimed the new poles would not support the weight of the lights. You know, sometimes we don’t like change. There have been some big changes in our world this year and some of those changes have been dark and very worrisome.

Well, there is one thing that does not change … and that is the light that Jesus Christ shines all around us! He is the light of my life and I hope he is the light of your lives also. I asked the children once at a children’s service to close their eyes real tight and put their hands over them. Then I asked if that made it seem really dark in the room. Then I instructed them to open their eyes. I went on to tell them that the light had been there all the time even when they couldn’t see it. And that is how it is with God. God is always with us no matter what happens.

During a bad storm, we sometimes lose power which is the source of our electric lights. Then we use flashlights and candles to really brighten up the night. Even on the dark nights, the lights make everything look warm and cheerful. I hope the Christmas lights this season will remind all of you of God’s love that is always with us. Remember that his son, Jesus Christ, is the light of the world!

The Scripture today is from the book of John and goes as follows; “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” I led the following prayer with the children and invite all readers to pray with me: “Heavenly father, as we go into this Christmas season help us all to remember the real reason for the season. Jesus Christ is the brightest light in our lives and the darkest times will not overcome his love for us.” Amen

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