What would Christmas be without lights? I was recently reading about the origin of using lights on a Christmas tree. I found that the earliest lights were candles attached to the tree branches signifying the light of Jesus. The first time this practice was recorded was in Germany in 1660. They weren’t able to burn the candles very long because of the danger of starting a fire.
In 1879, Thomas Edison invented the first string of lights. In 1882, Edward H. Johnson, a friend, and partner of Edison had the idea to replace the candles with a string of colored electric lights. These first lights were bulky, pear-shaped bulbs on a wire producing the first electric lighted Christmas tree. In 1903, GE sold the first Christmas light kits to light up Christmas trees all over the country. One drawback was that they cost around $8 per string (that would be about $300 today), putting them out of the budgets of many. Aren’t we glad that Jesus is in everyone’s “budget?”
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend (overcome) it." John 1:1-5
Jesus is the "Light of the world." As we celebrate His birth at Christmas, the lights remind us of Him, His love, and how He came to deliver us from sin, and give us eternal life with Him.
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." He doesn’t want us to stumble around in the dark, but to live in the light.
As a child, I always looked forward to Daddy putting the lights on the house and on the Christmas tree. It brought so much more light. And I still look forward to driving around the neighborhoods and town to look at all of the lights. They bring a comforting glow as they pierce the darkness, bringing light to where it is usually dark. To me, the lights are a reminder of Jesus, the One who brought light into the lives of all believers. He IS the Light. Let’s share it with this darkened world!
Written by WMU of Texas President Earl Ann Bumpus