I get it. Sometimes we have difficulty letting go of the season. I was thinking that this year we should try something different. We could try doing Christmas. And then when it’s over, we could wait until next year to do Christmas again. My good friends—who also happen to be my neighbors—kept their Christmas lights up, and even the tree up, until June last year. June! It was so cute. They still turned the lights on every night. When summer rolled around we were trying to decide if it was a late Christmas celebration or an early one for the next year.
When they came over for bible study one evening, I teased them, “Tonight you will be visited by the Ghost of CHRISTMAS IS OVER, PEOPLE!”
Then again, I’ve heard a lot of people judge when it’s time to take down the Christmas tree by how dry it is and/or whether or not it’s currently on fire. Counting my blessings. Since my neighbor’s tree is fake.
I do understand how tough it can be to get motivated to take the decorations down and put them all away. Decorating? So exciting. But taking them down is rather a bummer. Last year I tried, “Okay, Google: Take down my Christmas lights,” but…nothing. There really should be an app for that.
Still, you know what? My neighbors might just have it right. Their twinkling tree and all the shiny lights on their house lit up our neighborhood most of the year. Maybe I’m the one who needs to adjust my thinking about what’s seasonal and what’s not. The truth is, my neighbors don’t leave their Christmas decorations up because they’re lazy about taking them down. They leave them up because they love Christmas. They really, really love Christmas.
The pre-Christmas celebrations started long before there was a first Christmas. Seven-hundred years before Christ, Isaiah wrote, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness,” (Isaiah 9:2). Then in verse 6 he wrote, “For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
This? Oh my, this is something to shine about. Jesus confirmed it when He said, “You are the light of the world…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven,” (Matthew 5:4, 16).
Light up the neighborhood. Light up the world.
We sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” every year. It’s a song sung to the city where our Jesus was born and it includes the phrase:
“Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.”
The everlasting Light that shone in Bethlehem is still shining. Our Father doesn’t want us to pack away our thoughts of our Savior’s coming like so many Christmas decorations. We’re to shine Gospel-light-living through our streets and through our world.
So let’s do it. Let’s light it up in every season.
And if you’d specifically like to see it lit up come summer, head on over to my neighborhood. We’ll leave the lights on.