John 1 says of Jesus, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.“ It continues on to say that Jesus is the “true light”. The run-up to Christmas is filled with lights – twinkling fairy lights, candles, lanterns, signs alight and flashing as businesses all compete for the attention of shoppers. Some of the lights are pleasant and cheery, some not so much. But none of them last. When the season is over they will all be taken away and we will be plunged into wintery darkness once again. But the “true light” that entered into our world long ago does not leave us. He still shines out in the darkness and we as His followers have a unique opportunity at Christmas to pull back the curtain of busyness, consumerism and false attempts at merry-making for the true Light to be seen in and through our lives.
Therefore, we asked a few people to share with us over the next few weeks how they are personally reigniting the “true” light of Christmas in their own lives this year.
Alex from Orkney shares with us how thankfulness and gratitude helps him to reignite the light of Christmas.
Christmas has arrived once again and I doubt I am the only one who enjoys buying and receiving gifts at Christmas.
When I get a gift at Christmas I love being able to thank the person who has given it to me. It is so good to say thanks when you receive a gift, to acknowledge the giver’s thoughtfulness and kindness.
Recently I have been aware of the goodness of God before praying and have been realizing afresh just how amazing the Giver of life is. Ruth and I have both been overwhelmed by his kindness and are thankful for this. We think there is nothing better than knowing and resting in the truth that God has given us so many gifts even before we start to pray.
‘Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name’ Psalm 100:4
The list of gifts Jesus has given us is endless. He has given us love, joy, peace and life in abundance. Jesus came bring us into right standing with God. And because of this gift of righteousness we get to be in God’s presence. What a beautiful place to be. But it is no good receiving an amazing gift and not knowing who to be thankful to for it.
‘Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow’
Praise God that at this time of year we get to understand and know afresh the one to be thankful towards. Not only for the gifts he has given us, but for creating us to be in His Presence.
Alex Green is married to Ruth and they live in Orkney and attend Stromness Baptist Church. Alex works as a Landscape Builder and also enjoys making sculptures from time to time.