ALERT: This post has blatantly Christian overtones.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
This is the Magic Tree. It’s created every year by one man and his family…and 40 hours of work. Originally in his front yard, the crowds became too much and he selected another tree in a more public place on which to perform his magic. This one is smaller than the original…only 37,500 lights; less than half the number on the original tree. Each branch and twig is encased in lights. The end result is awesome.
Is it magic? Perhaps to some. For me, the magic lies in the inner stirrings of my soul when I see it. The scripture chosen sums it up quite nicely for me. For it completes an earlier passage that started the whole *light* thing.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Light. A force by which we see things more clearly. Darkness tends to make us stumble and can disorient us. Light is meant to illuminate. Show the way. Reveal.
I stand under this tree and let 37,500 lights envelope me. And there is a connection made between two worlds. I look up against the velvety black sky and see nothing but lights. All different colors, shapes and sizes. It’s surreal. A visual assault. It’s a riot of color and my mind really cannot comprehend the magnitude of this creation.
And so, I think, many times it’s the same with faith.
Logically, I cannot comprehend the universe and our world being spoken into existence. But they are here, and were obviously created somehow. Everything comes from something, so where and why did that big bang actually begin? Scientific, philosophical and theological fodder for sure. My faith tells me there is a Creator. Just as the creator of this magical tree uses light to bring something beautiful into the darkness, so the Creator of the universe brings light to each of our lives. From the old testament scriptures to the gospels, the message is the same. A message that spans thousands upon thousands of centuries….back to the dawn of time.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness and give us clarity.
Isaiah 49:6 (written in the 8th century BCE)
… I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
2 Chronicles 21:7 (circa 450 BCE)
Howbeit the LORD would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a light to him and to his sons forever.
John 8:12 (80-90 AD)
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Revelation 22:5 (circa 90 AD)
There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.
Christianity, at its core, believes Jesus is Israel’s promised Messiah, the saving Light for a dark world. It probably isn’t a coincidence that Jesus states he is the light of the world at a time when the Jewish ceremony of lights, the Feast of Tabernacles, placed candlesticks in the Court of the Women area in the temple. The lights illuminated all of Jerusalem. Obviously this was said as a reference to that ceremony. Jesus was either who he said he was, or the most delusional person in history. There are many reasons why I choose the former (saved for other posts), but the main point I’m trying to make is that I believe Jesus came to shine a light in the darkness of our lives…much like the Magic Tree shines its lights in the dark of night. And when Christ reveals his true nature, draped in the light of clarity, he takes on a new persona and shines in our souls to dispel our darkness.
Points of light. Most people don’t care how scholarly we are about the bible. Anyone can be knowledgeable about the bible. They are, however moved positively or negatively by our actions. The Magic Tree has thousands points of light, illuminating darkness. So should it be with those who profess to be Christian. Either be a light to others or get out of the way and stop casting a shadow.
Jesus said of His followers: “‘You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.'” ~Matthew 5:14-16
Shine on this Christmas season and throughout the year.