I was walking Henry my dog early one morning, while it was still dark. Although it wasn’t quite cold enough to be frosty, the air was cold and crisp. The first part of our walk is along streets lined with tall buildings and lit by bright street lamps, and, as every morning, we walked briskly along to get to the open space of the sea front. Henry is always anxious to get there so he can go off the lead and play with his ball. On this particular morning, as I came to the end of the lit streets, I was struck by the darkness of the seafront. But, as I looked up, I was totally amazed by the amount of stars in the sky. It was a breathtaking sight!
The tall buildings along the streets had made it hard to see the sky, and the street lamps had made it impossible to see the stars. But, out in the open space and dark, each star became visible to me. As I walked along, throwing the ball for Henry, I began to think about the world, and how it’s full of false light, at this time of year especially. If something sparkles and twinkles we have to have it. We see people in shopping centres, laden with bags and boxes. Our supermarkets are full of people with trolleys piled high with food and drink for Christmas. We see houses covered with lights, and displays of sleighs, reindeer and Santa, in various forms, in gardens, on walls and on roofs. Children everywhere are pointing out what they want for Christmas to parents and grandparents. The latest toys and gadgets are moving fast from the shelves, as people seek to meet the unmet needs of their lives. And the sad thing is none of us are completely exempt from this, as we get drawn in by advertising and other people’s expectations.
Yet if we push past all this we’re taken to a dark, star-filled night, in which the Saviour of the world was born. It’s a night so precious and holy, and yet so blotted out by the false things of this world. It was the heavens that first showed His coming, with the star over Bethlehem, and the heavens are still declaring His righteousness and glory today. I would encourage you to take the time to push through what the world offers, and lift your eyes to Jesus, our Saviour. You never know. If you look up, others may wonder what you’re looking at, and look up too!
Prayer: To You, O Lord, I lift my soul. O my God, I trust in You. Let me not be ashamed. Let not my enemies triumph over me. Forgive me, Lord, where I’ve allowed things to crowd into my life, and where I’ve taken my eyes off You. Today, Lord, I’m choosing to lift my eyes again to You. Help me to see You more clearly, and know You more deeply. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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