Sunday, December 4, 2011

Decorations for the Darkness

The neighborhood is bursting with Christmas decorations to provide light during the night.

The decorations are nice to look at--although the one house that always over does the decorating has not yet joined the fray. They tend to make it seem a bit gaudy and detract from the season.

Although we tend toward the simpler approach, many of the houses are now sporting the inflatable trees or snowmen--I'm not sure I appreciate those decorations as much as the people who install them do.

And the LED lights--wow, they still seem to be from an alien planet to me with their other world illumination. I much prefer the softer glow of the incandescent bulbs--which soon will be sold no longer, I am told.
Christmas Decorations
to Drive Away the Darkness

What seems to be missing more and more from the decorations. though, is a reference to the real meaning of Christmas. More and more the decorations seem to be advancing the idea of snow men and Santa Claus at the expense of the one who was the first gift.

I love the scene from The Polar Express when Santa holds his hand high above his head and announces the first gift of Christmas--which was a simple reindeer bell. That bell turns out to hold the magic of Christmas in its ring, which adults and many children cannot hear because they do not believe.

It is similar to when the angels announced the birth of the savior of the world two thousand years ago--a newborn baby boy in a garage in a backwater part of the world called Bethlehem. Didn't seem like much of at the time. But,  much like the bell, the people who cannot or will not believe that our God came to earth for them miss the point of the event--and likewise the season. Those of us who recognize the importance of the event continue to marvel at the simplicity and majesty of the plan to save the world from itself.

The first gift of Christmas, given in a barn so long ago, is the reason we celebrate the season. He is the reason to decorate and drive away the forces of the darkness which grow stronger--just for this season. We are children of the light--and we need to proclaim the light to those who are in darkness.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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