“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.”Isaiah 60:1
Anyone who visits the southwestern United States during December sees walkways, homes and churches decorated with glowing brown paper sacks. Borrowed from Mexican and Hispanic culture, the tradition of setting out these shining luminarias goes back hundreds of years. Luminarias helped welcome the Christ Child in Christmas celebrations.
One chilly Christmas Eve in Albuquerque, New Mexico, my family approached the church where we would sing Christmas carols and receive communion. Glowing luminarias along the sidewalk and on the tops of adobe walls lit the way. The whole interior of the church was lit only by glimmering luminarias and candles, and we couldn’t help but reflect on Christ’s birth.
Those luminarias present a lovely metaphor for us as believers in Jesus. Plain and simple as brown paper sacks, we can be a light in our world, shining for Jesus and glorifying God. It is only because we are but a small reflection of the greatest Light that pierced the darkness and came into this world long ago that we can begin to shine for Him.
“Jesus is the light of our Christmas, the joy of our hearts, the hope of our world.” (Unknown)