I have participated in two Ugly Christmas Sweater events this month. During our praise team’s Christmas party, we had the privilege of being judged for our attire.
I contemplated whether I was going to participate and eventually purchased the sweater on my way home from work on the day of the party. I quickly chose a shirt and hurried home so that I could arrive on time for the evening’s festivities.
Upon arriving home, I hurriedly wrapped my gifts and got dressed before the celebration began. As I slipped the sweater on, I felt a device inside the sweater that I had not noticed earlier. What in the world was it?
This shirt had lights, my friend—real, working Christmas tree lights.
I drove up to the party and noticed other people with garments glowing, including our ministry leader, but I decided I was not going to turn my lights on until it was absolutely necessary.
I sat with my tablemates and laughed about the lights. Through laughter, I informed them of my discount store purchase and how I wanted to make sure the lights didn’t burn out before the contest.
Then it happened.
All those participating in the Ugly Sweater contest were instructed to line up at the front of the room. As I stood, I flipped on the switch because I had to make sure the judges saw my lights.
As I stood before my church family, I was reminded of the scripture found in Matthew 5:16 NIV,
Had there been other times in my life that I didn’t feel that it was important for my light to shine.
Have you depended on others to be a witness and while you played it safe in the background?
Have you ever felt your lights weren’t bright enough to make a difference?
Have you ever wondered if your lights will last through the test you were facing?
Have you ever made sure your light was shining when the "right" person was watching you, but kept it dim at other times?
Those were the very thoughts I had while contemplating the right time to flip my switch. Not only that, I demonstrated that action during the entire party. I only demonstrated my lights when I was being judged!
Although the lights on my sweater are not the same lights that I have been charged to shine before men, these thoughts are the ones that make us feel that our lights will not drive out the darkness that is around us.
This dark world needs the Light!
As you spend time with family this Christmas, let your light shine!
As you head to the mall or shopping center for last minute shopping, let your light shine! (Please pray for those of us who will be in that number!)
As you greet those who are less fortunate, let your light shine!
As you encounter those whose lights are dimmed because of grief or life’s circumstances, let your light shine!
Shine bright because your light is designed to bring glory to Him!