It Takes A Village

Last night we put the (almost) finishing touches on the Christmas decorations in our new house, which include a pretty extensive Christmas village that gets set up every year.  

My two youngest boys love setting up the village.  It's never failed to capture their imagination, and the day we set it up is always one that is filled with a lot of expectation and excitement.  

Our recent cross country move, however, wasn't kind to our village, and there was some damage done this year that required more than just a bit of minor repair.  Even though I did my best to cover the brokenness with various kinds of glue, there are some all too visible cracks in some of our pieces.  

But when we turned on all of the decorative lights in our miniature town, the cracks seemed to fade into the background.  The village was still as beautiful as ever. My wife finally announced, "I think this might be the best one we've ever done."  

I couldn't help but see the similarities between my own life and the journey of that little village over the years.  I've got a few miles on me, and I'm a little worse for the wear, but still largely intact.  It's true, I have some cracks and chipped places, but they have been repaired by the grace and mercy of God.

And after all is said and done, with the generous light of Christ shining upon me, in me and through me, I know I can still shine with the best of them.     

The Apostle Paul wrote this in his letter to the Corinthians: "For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."  

My middle son turned off all of the lights in the living room last night so the miniature lights in the village could be more prominent.  He and I stood there staring at it for a moment.  "It's beautiful, Dad," he said at last.  "Yes, it is," I replied.  "It really is beautiful, isn't it?"  

May you see yourself today as though looking through the eyes of God, who loves you, sustains you and restores you in your journey.  May you let the light of Christ surround you with love and power to shine in beauty wherever you go.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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