I have always enjoyed Christmas lights. As I was growing up, there was this house in our area that turned their entire yard into a Winter Wonderland. There were so many lights and decorations. It was tradition that my cousin Kim and I would visit there many times each season. Sometimes just because we enjoyed it, other times when we needed a little joy after a bad day, and of course we would always go with our brothers (and then husbands, and children as the years went on) on Christmas Eve after our family get together.
Another thing I enjoyed was bringing friends to the house for the first time. I wouldn’t tell them where we were going, just to close their eyes, and when I told them they could open their eyes, they were always filled with wonder.
I was at church this past week, it was the first week of the Christmas season, and we had just decorated the Welcome Center, and Worship Center for the season. There were Christmas tree painted in white, covered in beautiful lights hanging over the stage, garland and lights bordering the screens that the words of the songs are projected on, there were Christmas trees frosted white on the stage, and so so so many lights and beautiful colors everywhere!
When I saw the stage completed the first time, my breathe was taken away. The colors, the design… it was so beautiful, I wanted to cry.
I have heard so many times that some people don’t like a lot of lights and decorations in churches because it can seem too showy, however, as saw we were singing songs about God sending Jesus to earth to be born as a baby, all I could think was that this was what it was going to be like when we are worshipping together in heaven. Again that thought brought tears to my eyes. It was like a glimpse of heaven for me in a room filled with lights, and praises. A glimpse of what awaits us…
So he took me in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal. Revelation 21: 10-11
I helped in preparing to set the church for the season, and it took a lot of work to get the church ready. From finding the right garland that actually looked real, to painting green trees white, and making sure nothing was going to fall off the hanging trees onto people who were singing on the stage, and making sure all of the branches of the trees are fluffed and looking as natural as possible, and oh making sure there were enough people to help.
Just like we were preparing for the season to come, God is preparing a place for us. There are verses after verses in Revelation that describe that place. It is God’s dwelling place that will one day be among His people. It is a place filled with lights, color that our mind can’t even comprehend, splendor, and glory. But the night Jesus was born, the only lights shining were the stars. God sent Jesus to bring heaven to earth. He wasn’t born in a palace fit for a king. He was born into a world of sin, sickness, brokenness, rejection. A world that was separated from God.
I think that is why Christmas lights can bring us joy, because it can be a reminder that God is preparing a place for us, a place that is full of light, and colors that we can’t even comprehend. A place where brilliant light, like the colors of the rainbow surround His throne.
The appearance of the brilliant light all around Him was like that of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell facedown. Ezekiel 1:28
It shouldn’t surprise us that a rainbow surrounds His throne, because it was a rainbow that God sent to Noah as a promise. Of course the symbol of His promise would surround Him. Because His promise is true. It is a promise that when we see it come to pass will fill us with awe, and take our breathe away.
And like God sent Jesus to be born as a baby to reveal the Kingdom of heaven, when God sent the rainbow, it was a preview of His glory in heaven. And snow, the reflection of Jesus in heaven with His hair, pure white. The lights, a reminder of what is to come, a place filled complete with color and light. No darkness, no sickness, no pain or mourning, no lame or blind. The only tears we will shed are tears of awe and wonder of His glory.
The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve precious stones. The twelve gates were made of pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass. And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. (Revelation 21: 19-24 paraphrased)
So when we see the Christmas lights, and decorations may we be reminded that God is preparing a place for us. A glorious place. And may we remember that Jesus who came into this lowly world as a baby born in a manger, the Light is the world, is there. Adorned in white. His promise was to come, and His promise is to come again.