Marji Laine: Faith~Driven Fiction

. . . Authentic and Intense

Lessons from a Christmas Tree: Shine

pictureI saw a post the other day on Facebook. I don’t remember by whom, but all I saw was, “Lessons from a Christmas tree.” I chose to read no further, for the title alone sparked all sorts of ideas for blog articles. So far, I’m at 5 posts and I think I’m done writing them. But who knows? They’ll be spread throughout this month. Please chime in with your own thoughts! Here are the links for the other articles: Lesson 1, Lesson 2, Lesson 3, Lesson 4, and Lesson 5.

Lesson 6

Shine

This is not the same as Sparkle, though it does have something to do with it. The verse in the Sparkle article was Matthew 5:16 where Jesus instructs us to let people see our good works and praise our Father in heaven.

This lesson of the Christmas tree goes deeper. Have you taken an evening drive down a modest street before in say, March? The street lamps give some light to the corners. If it’s a long block, it might have a street lamp in the middle, but even if it does, the light doesn’t penetrate much farther than the property where it’s found. A smattering of porch lights could help, but mostly, a neighborhood street will be a dark place.

But during December streets glow. Not just from Christmas trees, but from everything that goes with it. I bet a nighttime satellite picture taken in December would be drastically different from one taken in June.

There is a spiritual lesson here that connects to the Sparkle message in this series. Matthew 5:14-15 says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” 

This passage expresses the life of a Christian, having received the inexpressible joy of the gift of eternal life. That light not only reflects in what they do and who they are (as in the Sparkle message) but they share the light with others. Jesus calls us to share His story, His gift, with everyone we encounter. By good works, but also by our words. By telling people what He has done for them and how He gives us such joy.

Candle Light ServiceUnless you’re blessed with an evangelistic gift or an uninhibited spirit, you’re going to find this lesson a tough one. I sure do. I’d rather pour my efforts into card-making, gift-wrapping, event-planning, or writing than actually have to speak to people about the good news. It puts me in a vulnerable state. Yet sharing the Lord’s gospel doesn’t have to be done verbally. I can share it here on my blog, on Facebook, or commenting on the posts of hurting people.

It’s no where near as impacting as putting my hand on the shoulder of someone who is broken and sharing the love of Jesus with them, but the Spirit can use me even in my small abilities.

But when timing is perfect to harvest a seed planted, God gives us what we need when we need it. He just asks for us to be willing to light up for Him. To not cover our faith behind laughter or nonchalance.

And who would want to cover up a Christmas tree anyway?

Your Turn: How have you been a light this week? If you can’t think of any way, how can you change that?

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Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a homeschooling mom with teenage twins left in the nest. She spends her days transporting to and from volleyball, teaching writing classes at a local coop, and directing the children’s music program at her church. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

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