Coco Calling: No. 29 - Lighting Up The World!
The random thoughts of a Christian parrot
With my family originating in deepest Senegal, where the days stay long and the sun shines throughout much of the year, I’m not really that well adapted to the cold, dark winters of the UK. And I don’t think my owner is, either. Once we get to the end of October, he gets all of his Christmas stuff out, and defies the growing darkness by setting up a lavish display of lights on the front lawn. He has light-up deer and moose; polar bears and dolphins; toadstools and sparrows; plus a St. Bernard Dog, two sea lions an owl and a load of penguins. And of course, there’s a Father Christmas with a sleigh, and a light-up igloo in the mix as well.
Yes, it’s an artificial world, and some humans might find it all a bit “corny.” But the warmth and brightness of those lights cheer up the passers-by, and give them a sense of well-being. Because the display presents a vision of harmony. There are no predators and no prey; all of the illuminated figures are at peace with one another, providing a glimpse of something that is often lacking here on Earth.
And that’s what Jesus is all about. As soon as He was born in the stable in Bethlehem, an entirely new vision was offered to the world. A vision of love, hope, compassion and harmony. The promise of salvation from this imperfect world. And the offer of eternal life in Heaven. Since his arrival, Jesus has always been the ultimate light in the darkness. The light amongst the weak, the poor, the sick and the dying, the grieving and the disadvantaged. And it’s no coincidence that the nativity scene described in Matthew, chapter 2 features a dazzlingly bright star in the dark sky, which hovers over the stable roof in which Jesus has just been born.
All of us have moments in our lives when we need to know that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel; an end destination where suffering, hardship, injustice and strife are all forgotten; all shed from our lives and replaced by peace, harmony and total contentment. Time and time again, throughout the four Gospels, there is a great play made on Jesus representing a light in the darkness. Here are just a couple of examples:
Matthew 4: 16: “The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned.”
John 8:12: “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said: ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
Of course, the light display in our front garden will never represent what Jesus has to offer humanity. But it does project a glimmer of hope, and perhaps a glimpse of a better world. But Jesus is the ultimate Christmas illumination. Because His light shines indefinitely. His light can never go out. And it is there for all of us if we choose to see it and acknowledge it.
Because Jesus was, is, and always shall be “…..the light of the world.”