December 24 - Lori O'Dea

 I recently read a story about a power outage that happened years ago in the Los Angeles area. All the city’s lights had gone out, and for the first time, people could see the stars of the Milky Way. Several people actually called 911 because they thought they were being invaded by a creepy light force from space! The people had become so accustomed to the city lights that many of them had never even experienced the delight of starlight.

This made me want to consider this question: In what ways have I attempted to light my own path instead of being guided by the light of Christ? What are the “artificial lights” in my world? Perhaps it’s the constant message to work harder, to do more, to do better. Maybe we are attempting to light our own world by putting in extra hours at the office, or by searching the internet dating sites for that “special someone.” Maybe it’s the distraction of bing watching Netflix, or eating ALL the desserts.

It’s Christmas time, but we may not even realize that it’s dark because we are so busy wrapping our trees in lights. We’re hustling and bustling to find the perfect gifts and host a Pinterest-worthy holiday gathering in an Instagram-ready home. The busyness and distracting lights of commercialized Christmas can eclipse the quiet coming of the Light of the World. This Advent season, dim the artificial lights you’ve come to rely on, and focus on the coming of the Christ child, born in a manger, the Light of the World.