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This-Little-Light-of-Mine

Shine Brightly: Reach Higher & Touch Lives Further

With the Advent season now in progress, look around and make note of what you see. Look closely around your home, church, school, and community. Likely, you see various decorations that celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus, depicted by Christmas trees, nativity scenes, and many, many lights. What would Christmas feel like should there be an absence of light? Why do lights make such a significant difference in the feelings, joys, wonders, and ambiance of Christmas?

Think back to the very first Christmas. What would it have been like to be there, even just a few hours before Christ’s birth? What was the feeling in that stable before Mary and Joseph arrived? What were the animals doing? What about the innkeeper? Did he anticipate additional guests arriving after having an already-packed inn?

And, what about that star – the star that shone brightly in the sky? When did it first emerge in the sky? Was it always so bright? Who else noticed it? The season of Advent is a time of reflection and preparation where many of these questions emerge in people’s minds. All those questions seem minute when you consider the outcome of that first Christmas night. Thankfully, we know the ultimate gift – the birth of the Christ Child, Jesus, the Savior of the world. Truly, God’s plan is always good!

What if that Christmas star had not shone brightly in the sky? Think, for a moment, about the significance of that star, as it shone brightly high up in the sky. When lighted items are lifted high, their light shines down more significantly – it covers more space. If that star was low and only above the stable, would the shepherds have been able to find the Baby Jesus? And, if that star had been low in the sky, would the Wise Men have even known about this new King who had entered into the world?

God designed the Christmas star to be high so it could shine brighter and further. You do the same in your ministry! As you reach higher, you are able to touch lives further! As Matthew 5:16 shares, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”. The work you do in your classroom, church, and community lets others know that you serve Him – a loving, gracious, and forgiving God. The work you do is to serve – God and others.

As you continue your Advent journey on the path to Christmas, make note of the many lights that you see, especially when the rest of the world is dark. Those lights are significant! And, as you go about your daily vocations, do so knowing that your “light” is seen, so make sure it’s bright!

It’s a busy time of year: programs, concerts, decorating, shopping, celebrations, and all the work that goes with these events. You may get tired, frustrated, and perhaps anxious. No matter what the circumstance, remember again that God has given you a gift. Reach higher so you can tough lives further!

And, as you serve Him and others today, consider singing (out loud or to yourself), the following words of a well-known children’s song:

This little Gospel Light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!

This little Gospel Light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!

This little Gospel Light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!

Let it shine, all the time, let it shine!

All around the neighborhood, I’m gonna let it shine!

All around the neighborhood, I’m gonna let it shine!

All around the neighborhood, I’m gonna let it shine!

Let it shine, all the time, let it shine!

It will point the way to Heaven, I’m gonna let it shine!

It will point the way to Heaven, I’m gonna let it shine!

It will point the way to Heaven, I’m gonna let it shine!

Let it shine, all the time, let it shine!

Dr. Drew Gerdes currently serves as Assistant Professor of Education at Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska.

1 Comment

  1. Thomas Wrege on December 12, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    Wonderful reminders to be blessed by the season, but most importantly to ponder the hope we have through out Savior. Thank you, Drew!

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