In with the New and Out with the Old!
2020 is officially over with the power of the New Year. Did your life magically change as January took over December? For most of us, as refreshing as the New Year seems, nothing around us changed. We often give power to the changing of the year as if it holds some driving force that makes our world better. In truth, however, if we want to see a change in our world, we must look within ourselves. But to make an everlasting change in our life we must find and hold onto the power only found when we live in the light. The wise men from the east “traveled afar” to find the Christ child following the light of a special star knowing it led to power. They spent years and thousands of miles traveling to seek out the creator of both light and life.
Did you seek out the Great Conjunction on December 21st? This was known, due to the timing of the phenomenon, as the Christmas Star. There was tremendous talk leading up to the day that the gas giants of Jupiter and Saturn would appear so close together that when viewed from earth they would seem to be one point of light to the unaided eye. One reason this received such notoriety was that the last time the planets were this close was in 1623. Unfortunately, during this event, the planets weren’t seen as they dropped below the horizon before darkness arrived. So, the last time they were seen by the unaided eye was in 1226. The two planets won’t appear with this minimum separation again until 2080. And where you live in the world along with the weather will determine whether it can be seen.
The Disappointing Event
It was an intriguing event and one I hoped to see. As the day of the event came, I learned from a friend of mine that it would only be seen in the southwestern sky. As my home sits on the north-east side of a mountain this meant that I would need to travel to see the great occurrence. To further compound the issue and dissuade me; it was cold, unusually cold. And so, my enthusiasm for the event waned given that we would need to travel to another location to see it. I had just about talked myself out of it when my neighbors contacted me. They reminded me that even though it was cold, travel was involved, and there were a lot of people in the same viewing area I would not be able to see this again in my lifetime. So, we bundled up and loaded into the car.
By the time we reached the destination, everyone had dispersed except one car. We got out and looked but frankly weren’t sure what we were looking for. I guess, in my mind, I was seeking an unusually bright, something out of my imagination, star. What I saw instead was just 2 bright lights. We thought perhaps we missed it or weren’t looking in the right place, so we asked the other people. But they weren’t sure either and between us both, we weren’t sure what exactly we were to experience. And so, this Great Conjunction was a bit disappointing to me. I have since learned through looking at other’s images that what we saw was indeed the hyped-up event. Thankfully, the real Epiphany wasn’t anything like this.
Seeking the Power of the Light
The true Epiphany is about seeing Christ, the phenomenon of the Messiah in the person of Jesus. This was a brightness of light and power beyond all imagination. It is the proclamation made at His baptism when the heavens erupted, and the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove. He holds the power of the light, much more powerful than the star that led the Wise Men there. And these men knew this, as they looked not the star for its power but to the light of Christ that comes within. For Christ works both in us and outside of us. He asks us to respond to the power of His light to walk in His path daily.
Jesus Christ is the creator of life and His life brings light to all humankind. There is no star to guide us nor do the multitudes of angels sing proclamations to us. Yet we hold the power of the light only when we chose to live as a baptized follower of Jesus once we come to know Him. It is through His power of light and life that we become new creations choosing to reach for His power each day. This is our fresh start and the remaking of ourselves. He holds the only power and way for us to have the ability to live a different life. Through the power of the light, we hold a new way of living. One that keeps our eyes open to embrace the possibilities in front of us rather than the doubts within us.
Power and Light
It is through His power and light we hold the opportunity to know we are loved and claimed. His light dispels the darkness within us and no longer allows it to define us. Through His power of light, we learn that what we have been searching for has been within us all along as the Holy Spirit is our constant companion. It is the power that allows and inspires us to love, serve, and grow. This is what prepares us to be part of the body of Christ in powerful ways. As it opens us up to new ways of living and being.
By the light of Christ, we see ourselves as we truly are, but it also allows us to go further. For when we chose to follow Christ, the true light, we can avoid the pitfalls of life as He lights the path before us showing us how to live within His power. We must reflect on the ways that we allow the light of Christ to shine into our life. Learning to lean upon Him and allowing Him to guide us through the darkness is where we hold His power through the dark things of life. God sees the light within us and announces it as “good.” His voice proclaims to us too, that we are His beloved and as we live within Him, He is well pleased with us. We are not finished, completed, or perfect, but we are good as we hold the power of His light.
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.2 Corinthians 4:6 (NLT)
Living in the Light
When we embrace Christ, who holds the power of light that shines within us, we see clearly that He will one day return and shine in His full glory. Until that day we hold the power of the scriptures and the Holy Spirit to not only brighten our path but guide us as we seek the truths of life. This permits us to live as people of the light and allows our actions to reflect our faith. When we let our lives reflect the light of God within us outward it serves both as our reflection and for others to see the Way.
As we begin the New Year let us vow to make our lives reflect the goodness of God to others. Helping them to clearly see the path to salvation. Let them know not only what they should see but what to expect as they view our lives in the brightest and darkest of times.
Won’t you take the challenge of living a life of power in His light? Allow your convictions to overwhelm your reflection in the brightness of goodness and mercy. Find your motivation in knowing the power that His light holds. Surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that because you allow His light within you, your reflection to others shines brightly with His glory.
Take a new perspective on life in this New Year – one that looks and sees how the power of the Holy Spirit has always, is, and will always work in your life.
Love in Christ,
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.Martin Luther King Jr.
What are Your Thoughts?
Do you follow the light that holds the glory and power of Christ? Have you considered allowing His goodness to reflect His power to others by your actions? Share your thoughts on the power that the light of the world holds.