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.
Who can you share a light with this week? Get your candle lit, then pass it along. Share your thoughts in the comments.
- What Dark Can’t Do to Light
- One Word 2021 Linkup for September