You are the light of the world… - Matthew 5:14
At Christmas time, I have very fond memories of going up north to our family cottage by the lake. Our cottage was in northern Michigan, and the lake would usually be so frozen that you could actually drive your pick-up truck on it if you wanted to. In fact, it was not surprising to make the trek up there only to discover two feet of fresh snow waiting for us to clear just so we could park the car or open the door to get inside.
I loved holidays at the frozen Higgins Lake. We would decorate the fireplace with plastic holly branches and put up a tiny Christmas tree with vintage colored glass ornaments. We would play board games, hike through the snowy wooded trails with our dog Jessie, and watch old Christmas movies which normally ended up being some version of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.
At the close of each night, our tradition was to light a fire in the fireplace which cemented the coziness of our little cottage by the lake. It was, admittedly, as much for tradition’s sake as for practicality. After a long day of being bundled up to our ears so we wouldn’t freeze out in the snow, coming home to a wood fire was something we all looked forward to.
Up close by the glow of the fire was somewhere we wanted to be, a place we didn’t want to leave, even if it meant staying up late into the night well past bedtime to watch the embers slowly glow into nothingness. Warmth just makes light that much more inviting; cold light is almost no comfort at all.
We need light to combat darkness in the world, and we specifically need “warm light” because sadly, much of the light in the world is harsh, unwelcoming, and cold. I shiver just thinking about how cold we as people can be towards even those for whom we care deeply. As we look towards celebrating the birth of Jesus this Christmastime, may we allow the spark of God’s love to light the fire of love within our hearts so we may be a warm light to everyone we meet.