In elementary school, I was part of the annual Christmas Play (does this date me or what). The plot of the play was this: two martians land on Earth during the Christmas season and observe what happens during this time of year. Vignettes of various practices and customs were observed with commentary from the martians. The play ended with a rousing Christmas carol.
It’s interesting to wonder what some alien might think about the way this holiday invades our day-to-day life. Most notable is the way Christmas bursts on the scene with lights: trees shining with glittering lights in every living room, homes and office buildings covered with string after string of twinkling Christmas illumination, angels, snowmen, wise men, mangers and reindeer all aglow and giving off cheery warmth. Folks from another planet would probably marvel at the widespread light display marking this holiday season. But then the New Year starts and… out go the lights. The trees are tossed, the homes and buildings stop shining… we suddenly go dark as if we had a nationwide power outage. “Well,” the aliens might say, “that’s that. It’s the end of Christmas.”
Jesus once spoke to His disciples about light. First He told them that He is the light of the world. In fact, that’s partly why we use so much light at Christmas. We’re telling the world that The Light of the world has come. But then Jesus tells his disciples something else. He told them that as His followers they were going to be the light of the world. He then pointed out something obvious: nobody takes a light and hides it under a bushel basket or under a bed. That would defeat the purpose of the light. Instead they set that light on a table so as to spread the light to an entire room.
At Christmas, we light up the world to represent the good news of Jesus' birth pointing to the light, joy, and hope that brings. But sadly, once December 26th rolls around, we turn off all the lights, placing them, not under a basket or bed, but in assorted roughneck storage containers, which are then deposited in the attic. And that’s that… the end of Christmas until next December.
But Christmas hasn’t come to an end. Those of us who follow Christ are giving out the light of Christmas! It’s our joyful duty to stand on every table, shout from every housetop, bring hope, peace, and love to every conversation in every corner of our lives all year long, so that the Light of Christ which has come into the world can be seen and heard in us.
It’s not the end of Christmas at all, but rather, the continuation of over 2,000 years of light and life. Christmas just reminds us of that.
So don’t turn off the light of Christmas. Live it.
After all… aliens are watching.