May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Thessalonians 5:23
It is a long standing tradition in the DeWald household to hang Christmas lights this time of year. I remember the first few times my father showed me how to replace fuses, attach gutter hooks and spiral wrap a tree trunk. My heart warms as I pass each house on a drive home after dark, big or small, elaborate or simple, that invested time, energy and money into hanging their lights. As my children have gotten older, they too are learning the art and creativity of decorating our house with lights.
This year’s Christmas season began much the same. The same tubs and boxes came down from the attic, with the same gratuitous amount of duct tape and crossed out labels giving way to the markings for the most current contents. But, this year will be a year I will never forget. Have you heard the Gospel preached through Christmas lights? Have you heard it from my eight-year-old daughter? No? Well, you are in for a treat.
Cut Off from the Source
The DeWalds use lights till they can no longer shine. We own strands of lights that are older than both my kids, older than the house we currently live in, older than is probably safe to continue to run power through. When you consistently reuse and refurbish your light strands, objective number one each year is to assess the status of how many working lights still remain. As we do each year, we pull out the Powerstrip Timer and light sensor combo that sits at the nerve center of our display and plug it in. From there we begin testing the strands, replacing and repairing those that struggle, and throwing out those that are beyond repair. As we settled the status of this year’s inventory, and we began feeling accomplished and ready to decorate, a peculiar thing happened. There was a pop, a smell of burnt plastic and an immediate and distinct lack of any working light strands as far as the perimeter of our yard. This was devastating surprise. Both children perplexed and clearly disappointed began to ask me questions of WHY? I got to work troubleshooting, but due to my knowledge of electrical workings going just about as far as plug it in and hope for the best, I had very few answers for my kiddos. After narrowing down the culprit of the fault in our decor system to the tried and true Timer/Sensor combo, I began to explain that we would go buy another one and this guy was at the core, without him power was not passing to the lights. To which my daughter replied, “Everything was so peaceful, then the lights stopped getting along. It was all right, now it’s all wrong.”
Our light strands were starved of their purpose. All of them cutoff from the source of their power, their life, their purpose. Everything went from right to very wrong. Everything at peace had changed to strife. Without the power strip timer and sensor combination to be the
He is our source
Does this story sound familiar? In the beginning, God created us to be in relationship with Him. We were at peace. Our purpose was clear and fulfilled, connected to our source of life. Sin entered the world through