December 22, 2019

Christmas: a Season of Brightness and Joy

Image Courtesy of Pixels

“! am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.”-- John 12:46 (KJV)

Merry Christmas! Thanks for reading!
I thought I’d concentrate on the idea that Christ’s birth brought love and hope when it was most needed. The world he knew was violent and cruel. Today, we need all the joy we can get, too.

The Symbolism of Light (in the words of my brother, Jim Lillywhite)

One of the prettiest things about the Christmas season is the beautiful array of lights adorning trees, streetlamps and streaming across the top of homes. Lights have more symbolism than lighting the sky for Santa—some believe they represent the star of Bethlehem, a sign that marked Christ was born. To others, lights are symbolic of the eternal light of our Savior that is particularly kept in mind over Christmas, the symbol of light, hope and good in the world.
Lights also remind us to follow the path of Christ.
Please  watch this video Jim made. It shows stunning Christmas lights in the desert-like area of southern Utah.

Why did the World Need Light? (A Historical Overview)

In the year 1 AD, The Roman Empire governed almost all the known world. This included the small province of Judea in which our Savior was born. Herod was the Roman (puppet) governor. He was an Edomite who was raised Jewish. In politics, however, he answered to Rome. The Jewish people were taxed by their Roman overlords.

The military leaders mainly gained land through violence. Many of the native people were enslaved or killed. Augustus Caesar (Octavian) reigned at the time of Jesus’ birth. He was the nephew (and adopted son) of Julius Caesar. He came to power by defeating Mark Anthony and Pompey, two military geniuses.

Augustus was the first emperor in the Julio-Claudian dynasty (27 BC to 68 AD) This imperial house includes the leaders Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero (the nice guy who probably fiddled while Rome burned. No, wait; he may have started the fire--to make room to build his palace.) These men were noted for unbelievable cruelty, the darkest of immorality, illness of all kinds, and insanity.

How bad were they? Some of them killed their own blood relatives. At least one was assassinated by his own followers. Caligula wanted to make his favorite horse, Incitatus, a consul (top leader of Rome.)

This was the chaotic climate into which the Savior of the world was born. Some Jewish people were expecting a military messiah to free mankind from Roman rule.

On the contrary, Jesus’ kingdom wasn’t of this world. He came to light the way to a spiritual, eternal joy.

My Conclusion

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”-- John 8:12 (KJV)

Christmas is a celebration of a glimmer of brightness in a world of darkness.  Did Jesus’ mother, Mary, know the destiny of her son? Do you think she fully understood the divine calling of her innocent baby? Please enjoy this video by the a cappella group, Pentatonix, “Mary, did you Know?”:

Are you celebrating the season of spiritual light?


  1. Always love your historical posts. Yes, I agree....we need to remember and celebrate this season 24/7

    1. Thanks, sweet friend! I felt a little history would be appropriate for this article. Any excuse to talk/write about my favorite subject...