One of our family Christmas traditions is to load into the van and embark on the Klein tacky light tour. Over the years we’ve found countless homes that could rival Clark Griswold’s in the “classic” movie Christmas Vacation.
One house has at least ten of those huge moving light sculptures on the roof. Another has so many white lights wrapped around a fleet of moving reindeer that they’re blinding to look at.
Still another is completely covered with LED lights; the windows in red, the doors in green, the siding in that purple-blue and bright white all over the roof. It looks like a UFO.
One mansion is guarded by literally hundreds of bright, toy soldiers.
And these are rivaled only by the homes that have the signs in front, instructing us to tune in to a specific station on our car radio so that we can hear the music and watch the lights dance in sync.
You know what I’m talking about!
I’ve always loved the lights
My wife calls me Clark Griswald.
She’ll never forget the year I added strings and strings of colored lights to every bush, tree and post I could get my hands on in our yard as a compliment to her classy, single white candlestick light in each window. And, yes, I even added a 1950’s vintage plastic “Santy-Claus!” to quote my wife’s grandma. She had a disdain for those big plastic guys.
Of course, our kids loved it! And she was forced to acquiesce. Ever since then, we do it up. Every. Single. Year.
I know it’s “just a tradition”—but I tell you—I LOVE seeing all the lights. I love seeing them on my house and I love seeing them all over the place. To me it’s as if every colorful, twinkling bulb is a bold, joyful protest against a very dark, cold world.
Every light whispers, light will win!
The prophet Isaiah wanted to let the whole world know that Light would win, and, somewhat like a light himself, boldly declared:
“The people living in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the shadow of death a light has dawned.”
And when the fulness of time had come, Zechariah echoed his words:
“…the Rising Sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
“And the Rising Sun did come, just a few months later,” writes my friend, Jenn Nahrstadt. “The Light Incarnate was Jesus and He burst forth into a dark, cold night. His life was the Light that showed mankind the way out of darkness and ushered in the reality of everlasting peace. He offered all a simple choice: Light instead of darkness. Life instead of death.”
Now it’s our turn
Then Jesus, after acknowledging that He was, indeed, that light, tells us that we are, too—that we will light up the world. And that our lights won’t be able to be hidden.
It’s my prayer that you’ll see yourselves the way I see all the brightly lit up Christmas houses: as vibrant beacons of joy, color, light, and peace. Not to be hidden, but to shine and lovingly declare that the darkness doesn’t have to be all there is.
The LORD is come.
Jeff Klein loves all things Christmas and talking about Jesus.
He’s also Q Place’s National Church Partnership Director
and co-host of Q Place’s radio ministry, Walk the Way.