Into the Light

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 NKJV

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. As a young child, I was mesmerized by Christmas lights. As an adult, I rationalize reasons to put them up earlier and earlier each year. Now older and hopefully wiser, I realize that what we all hunger for is the true Light that promises peace, joy, and salvation.

As we journey through life, we can find ourselves in dark places. The loss of loved ones can be especially profound this time of year. Physical and mental illness can leave us feeling isolated. Political clatter and economic uncertainly can drive us to hibernate and move away from the Light that sustains us.

I suspect Jesus proclaimed that He was the Light of the world to give us hope in increasingly dark times.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9 NKJV).

The gift of Christ as our Savior grants us freedom from the dark and offers a glimpse of the Light that awaits us in eternity. I’ve learned over the past decades to nourish myself with the Word of God. Inspirational devotionals, television programs, and old-fashioned testimonies always chase away my dark thoughts and inspire me.

That said, I am honored and humbled to contribute to the Christmas issue of Refresh Magazine, a Lighthouse Bible Studies Publication. The latest issue celebrates not only the Nativity but also offers uplifting articles that recognize heartfelt issues that often multiply this time of year. Grief, depression, and loneliness are addressed. It’s refreshing to see a publication touch upon the realities that can accompany the holiday season. Yet, this issue also offers Christmas miracles and bits of Bible trivia. My favorite article thus far is Just a Shepherd by Dorcas Asercion Zuniga. It offers a fresh perspective on the traditional “background” characters associated with the Nativity.

Refresh Magazine blessed me with the opportunity to shed a little Light this year. We should continually strive to brighten the days of those in need and to check on those we miss, especially at Christmas.

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV).

Wishing you peace, joy, and Light.

Merry Christmas!

By Lilka Finley Raphael

Author, Editor, Gardner, Photographer, Pharmacist

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