As I write this, it is the shortest day of the year.
Where I live in North Dakota, that means that it will be dark for 15 hours and 44 minutes of the day. It makes the Christmas lights twinkle all the more bravely.
In winter, it is also difficult to come by good fruit. Fruit needs light to grow.
My kids wanted to use fruit to decorate their gingerbread houses, and none of the blueberries or strawberries looked like they would be much good. My mom and dad sent boxes of beautiful oranges from south Florida that seemed to glow with sunshine as we opened them. No wonder the elders in our church like to receive fruit baskets for Christmas. They are a reminder of light.
We have been anticipating the Christ child- singing about Him, reading about Him, and even making him out of play-doh during the Advent season. He is the Light of the World that “stepped down into darkness.” The baby Jesus sleeping soundly in the manger of hay flies in the face of our darkness, death, and sin. The Lord is my Light, indeed.
He also grew up and said, “I am the vine; You are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
You need light to grow fruit.
The prophecy from Isaiah says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light…”
This Christmas, are you one of the people basking in the glow of the Light of the Christ child? What is the Fruit of Light? How will it effect your words? Actions? Attitudes?
“For at one time, you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord,” the Apostle Paul reminded the Ephesians. “Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true)…”
Good. Right. True. All three worth celebrating.
That’s why even those experiencing grievous loss can still have joy.
Even those dwelling in crushing poverty can still have hope.
Even those alone, apart, and awandering can still have love.
The Fruit of Light grows in the children of Light, especially as we celebrate Christmas.
I had the joy of telling children and families the Christmas story at our church. As the families left, we handed out shoebox gifts that others had graciously donated. One family had to wait awhile for their ride. They allowed their children to open their gifts while they waited. One boy, eleven years old, found a harmonica in his box. The church was filled with his music from that moment until their ride came. He was very happy with his gift, and he filled the air with its fruit.
How will you celebrate all that is good, right, and true?
Ding dong! Merrily on high,
The curse of sin is broken!
Ding dong! Open up your eyes-
The Celebration’s starting!