Light Has an Order: How to Light Up Someone Else

We still have three more months.

I’m not one of those people who has their Christmas shopping done by September. Alas. I’d love to be.

But I’m never quite ready to think about it this early.

There’s an order to my Christmas shopping:

  • identify who to buy for,
  • determine what they’d like,
  • buy the gift,
  • wrap the gift, and
  • give the gift.

I usually get hung up at step 2. It takes me until December to get over the hump enough to move forward again.

Yet there’s something about Christmas I am ready for, at any time of the year. It’s a candlelight Christmas service at church. We attend one each December at a neighboring church as part of our annual Christmas tradition.

Lighting the candles is the most moving part for me.

There’s an order to it, too.

  • First, we receive the unlit candles.
  • Second, someone brings the fire, and lights his neighbor’s candle from his own.
  • Third, that person passes the flame to their neighbor, who passes it to their neighbor, until it’s finally my turn too.
  • And then I get to pass the flame to my neighbor.

In the end, we all have lit small candles with little flames, but it creates much light. We raise our candles high and climax in singing “Silent Night.”

It’s a beautiful process. It stirs my soul.

Jesus manifests himself to me in a similar order as well.

“This life was revealed to us. We have seen it, and we testify about it. We are reporting to you about this eternal life that was in the presence of the Father and was revealed to us.”
1 John 1:2

  • First, Jesus reveals his love.
  • I need to pay attention to see it.
  • If so, I receive it.
  • Then I have love to spread round to others.

In that order.

Granted, sometimes I get lazy and try to flip the order. I try to tell about something I know little about. Or show love before I’ve received love. Or I simply drop out after the first or second step, and never end up sharing this authentic life with another person.

So as I focus on 1 John 1:2 this week, I know Jesus will start the process by giving his love; I can count on that. My part is to notice how he becomes visible each day. In the seeing, I can then collect a bounty of love to share with someone else.

Just like the fire on the candles I light at Christmas, I want to feel the heat of Jesus’s presence. I want to smell the smoke. I want to notice the movement. I want to see by his light.

And then I want light up someone else with this love, too.


Share your thoughts in the comments.

Who can you share a light with this week? Get your candle lit, then pass it along. Share your thoughts in the comments.

I’m sharing at these blog parties

18 thoughts on “Light Has an Order: How to Light Up Someone Else

  1. Martha J Orlando

    The candlelight Christmas service always moves me to tears of joy, Lisa. Such a touching reminder that each of us can shine the light of Jesus into the lives of others. May you always embrace the light!
    Blessings!

  2. blankLynn

    “My part is to notice how he becomes visible each day. In the seeing, I can then collect a bounty of love to share with someone else.” A bounty of love to share with someone else….you’ve help me create my intention for this week (that really is one for everyday)! Have a blessed Sunday, Lisa!

  3. blankDianna

    This week, I will be looking to visibily notice Jesus in the every day and then do my best to share it with someone else. My circle is small at this time due to a soaring surge in covid numbers around us, but I won’t let that deter me from sharing what He gives me.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I’m with you, Dianna! The numbers have been soaring here again too, so the number of people I see in any given day can be small, sometimes just one, Jeff :). But I see how you continue to shine God’s light through online avenues and I am SO thankful for all the ways and times you have shone light in my life.

  4. blankLynn D. Morrissey

    Passing the Living Flame of His Love
    by Lynn D. Morrissey

    A Hidden-Treasure poem,
    excavated from “Light Has an Order: How to Light Up Someone Else” by Lisa Burgess

    We still have people never ready to think
    there’s a gift enough to move forward again.

    I am ready anytime to
    take the unlit and bring it to the fire,
    then pass the flame to my neighbor, until
    *finally,* we all have lit small candles with little flames,

    from which we create much light—
    a high climax,
    a beautiful process to stir souls.

    Jesus manifests Himself,
    revealing to us eternal life—to live forever
    in the presence of the Father.

    Jesus reveals His love.
    I need to pay attention to see it to receive it,
    to spread it to others.

    I can’t show love before I’ve received love,
    before I share this authentic life with another person.

    So I will focus on knowing Jesus,
    how He’s giving me His love.
    I can count on that!
    I will notice how He becomes visible each day.

    In the seeing, I can collect a bounty of love
    to share with someone else.

    Like fire on candles, I will *feel* the heat
    of Jesus’ presence, notice His movement by His light.

    Then I will light someone else with His love,
    and pass it along.

  5. blankLynn D. Morrissey

    PS Loved your essay, Lisa. And it reminds me of our own Christmas Eve service, my favorite, too, and how we silently pass the flames, and then sing together Silent Night, a capella, and then lift our flames high before blowing out the candles.

  6. blankDavid

    Brilliant analogy! And “My part is to notice how he becomes visible each day. In the seeing, I can then collect a bounty of love to share with someone else.” is so beautiful. That is definitely a tip for me to start the day with: notice Jesus. It won’t be hard as He is always with me. Just remembering to look will bring new light that I can share. Thank you Lisa!

  7. blankTai East

    This is such a beautiful post, Lisa! I think we all needed to be reminded of your words here! To light up the life of someone else is what it’s all about. What a blessing to visit with you today.

  8. blankDonna

    Lisa, such good encouragement for us! Each day we can pass the Light on to someone else. I love the picture of the candles, each lighting another’s and then such a glorious Light! Just think how much light we can bring to the dark places of life by sharing the Light shown to us!

  9. blankLisa Blair

    It’s so true, Lisa, we receive His love, then pass it along to others. I appreciate the Christmas Eve candlelight service as an illustration of the joy of receiving the light and sharing it.

  10. blankJeanWise

    You are putting me in a Christmas mood. Actually I heard due to the shipping and supply disruption we should get our holiday gifts buying done early. But I am like you not sure what to buy. I can do the other steps. And we are planning Christmas already at our churches so get those candles out!!

  11. blankLois Flowers

    Now you’ve gone and put me in the Christmas mood too, Lisa. 🙂 I’m someone who appreciates order and structure (surprise, surprise!) so this love-sharing process you describe makes a lot of sense to me. I’ll be watching for ways that Jesus reveals His love this week, my friend.

  12. blankKaren Friday

    Lisa, we always do the same candlelight service at church, passing the flame to our neighbor and singing Silent Night. You make such a great point about the order of things, so I really enjoyed how you selected the order from 1 John 1:2. Great insight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *