Christmas 2020 does not look like our normal celebration. Because of the rise in Covid-19, people are distancing from family and friends to fight this virus. It is an unprecedented time, and people are struggling with depression, anxiety, financial hardships, mental and physical trials. Many would say it is a time of darkness.
For the past several years, the Nelson family has been hosting a light show, set to music. Viewers can tune in to a local radio station and listen to a playlist of 11 Christmas songs, and watch the beautiful lights. Cars full of people have flocked to view this production more than ever this year. We pass by the house frequently on our drive home. We always flip to the Nelson family station and listen to the music.
Last week while my youngest daughter and I were heading home from running errands, we pulled into the dirt turn out across from the lights to watch for a song or two. We ended up staying to view the entire show from beginning to end. Taking the time to enjoy the lights filled our night with peace and beauty. Isn’t that what the world needs right now?
I am reminded of the words of Dieter Uchtdorf, who spoke of the hope of God’s light. “It is part of our condition as mortal beings to sometimes feel as though we are surrounded by darkness. We might have lost a loved one; a child might have strayed; we might have received a troubling medical diagnosis; we might have employment challenges and be burdened by doubts or fears; or we might feel alone or unloved.
But even though we may feel lost in the midst of our current circumstances, God promises the hope of His light—He promises to illuminate the way before us and show us the way out of darkness.”1
Over two thousand years ago, a star appeared brighter than any other in the heavens to announce the prophesied birth of the Messiah. Just days ago the world was able to view the “Christmas star,” formed by the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, a rare event not seen in nearly 400 years. Referencing this phenomenon, Russell M. Nelson shared, “…tonight’s Christmas star will undoubtedly draw our minds and hearts to the original star that appeared in the heavens to mark the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. For the shepherds in Judea, for the Wise Men, and for the believers in the New World, the star brought more than mere physical light—it brought hope.
My dear friends, as we near the end of a challenging year, one that may feel to many as a time of uncertainty and darkness, let us never forget that the light of hope still shines brightly. Jesus Christ is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. As we turn our hearts to Him, He will pour out His love for us in unmeasured ways.”2
Jesus Christ taught us, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”3 As we seek His light to guide us, our path will be brightened through the dark times. We can spread His light to others by unconditionally loving those around us, serving others, and giving as He gave. More than ever, let us unite in love and gratitude as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, the source of all light! Merry Christmas.
Featured art, A Savior is Born, by Joseph Brickley
Three Wise Men, Getty Images