Ann Farabee column — Light of the world

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 20, 2020

By Ann Farabee

For many, going to a Christmas play is a holiday tradition that helps us visualize the story of the birth of Jesus, so we can hold it more tightly in our hearts.

As a young teenager, I participated in a Christmas play at church. As an angel, my role was to stand near baby Jesus and hold my arms up in praise — like angels are supposed to do. The lights were off and the sanctuary was totally dark, but a light shone brightly over the manger scene where I stood. That moment is one of the few memories I still have of Christmas plays — and is also a powerful one.

My heart was touched and tears filled my eyes, although at the time, I was not sure why. I am sure words had been spoken, but I do not remember hearing them. I do, however, remember feeling them. That night’s spiritual connection had a lifelong impact. As an “angel” I had been allowed to stand in the only place there was light in the room. I was standing in the light with the light of the world, and everything around me seemed to be in darkness.

I realized that the manger would have been a much darker place as baby Jesus was born than it was portrayed that night. The shepherds would not be as neatly dressed. The sheep would not be pure white — but grayish and dirty. The other animals milling around in the stable surely would have been unsettling.

After I got home from the play, I remember standing in my front yard and looking up at the stars in the sky. That’s when I knew. I believed in Jesus. And maybe the star that was shining down on my life that night was the same star that was shining down on the manger the night Jesus was born.

Look up. The light of the world is with us.

Jesus is the light of the world — and we are his light in the world.

John 1:5 says the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

I don’t know about you, but something about that verse gives me heavenly peace.

Gazing up at those stars became something I did often and I still do, for if the bottom of heaven is that beautiful, how much more beautiful will heaven be?

Lord, may we know that the story of the birth of Jesus is not just a story — but is his-story.  Help us see the light of the world and hold tightly in our hearts. Amen

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at or

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