>And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:3-6

We used to live on a street in Turlock, California that was known as “Christmas Tree Lane.” That wasn’t the actual name, but that’s what it became every year. All of the neighbors would elaborately decorate their homes. Even the Jewish family offered a Hanukkah house complete with plywood cutouts of dradels.

Our house actually came with the decorations. The pressure was on. The week before Thanksgiving, all of the neighbors were outside in shorts and t-shirts (it was California after all) hanging their lights and creating their elaborate displays. Ours was pretty basic. Lights hung around the house and in the trees. A few Christmas trees placed in the yard and a pathetic nativity scene. Someone had stolen our baby Jesus, and one of our wise men wasn’t very bright.

Most of us spend an evening or two driving around looking at Christmas lights. Whether you bundle up in blankets and have hot chocolate or load the kids up in their PJ’s, turn up the heat and drive until they finally go to sleep, we like to take in the holiday lights. Houses range from gorgeous to garish. Either way Duke Energy or PG&E are very happy.

The Light of Christmas is certainly the greenest energy available – the Light of Christ. “For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” The same God who on the first day of creation proclaimed, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3) was at it again. But, this time the light wouldn’t shine in our eyes. It would illuminate our hearts.

So, if the Light of Christ is the light of the gospel, why is it “veiled” to unbelievers? The god of this age has blinded them. The evidence of blindness looks like selfishness, pride, fear, worry, addiction and success. Not everyone is blind in the same way.

But, how could the blind ever see the light? Here’s where the analogy falls a little short. The spiritually blind are not ignorant of God. They are made in His image. They benefit from His grace and benevolence toward all of His creatures. They are confronted with the Light when they hear from science that not all living things originated from a single life form. (The Huffington Post: NASA Discovers New Life: Arsenic Bacteria With DNA Completely Alien To What We Know)

Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).

How is your light shining today? Are you a Griswold or a Grinch?

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