Away from the Dark Side
It's Christmas time and everywhere you look is a reminder that the greatest event of the season is a continuation of the Star Wars saga. Outdoing the displays of the Nativity, are the displays of the "must have" merchandise of the anticipated film. "What do you want for Christmas?", was inquired of the young parents. "A babysitter for a night with the force." It takes a lot to upstage Jesus Christ but I think the gap may be closing.
The struggles between good and evil may have never been presented with greater fascination than with the theatrical blockbusters that weave the web intended to capture the attention of the Star Wars viewing public. It doesn't even have to be in color as the characters are well defined in their black and white. Even while enjoying the "Christmasy" wonder of the "Small World" ride at Disneyland, the buzz was all about the new "Star Wars" land developing there. This Christmas, in more ways than one, it's almost like the dark side has enveloped the star of Bethlehem that signified the birth of the Light of the world. Charles Dickens' oft quoted words can distill upon our minds in all eras. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, … it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, … we had everything before us, we had nothing before us” (A Tale of Two Cities, New York: Washington Square Press, n.d., p. 3).
Christmas lights can be found in many otherwise dark places. In a tiny chapel in Africa, an impoverished little band of worshipers found refuge from the world on a Christmas morning not long ago. Their heartfelt voices filled the air with praises of the bestowal of God's greatest gift – the Christ-child born in a lowly manger. They could easily identify with His humble beginnings. As far as we know, Jesus spent his ministry years as a homeless man. The Biblical recording of His earthly abode describes His real estate investments like this. "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." The child-preacher at this tiny church touched us deeply. Barefooted, his ragged attire covered his faith-filled courage as he sauntered to the front of the small gathering of believers and delivered this humble, yet poignant, message, lamenting the possession of a suitable gift for a beloved King.
"What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart."
(From "In the bleak midwinter"
BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI)
Africa provided the backdrop for many opportunities to be drawn into the "light side." I was asked to help put last minute directing touches on a Christmas pageant held in the dark underground parking area of a large building. It was surprising how I could see the nativity scene clearly unfold in my mind and could easily visualize the appropriate ways to portray the events of that sacred occasion. I saw details not thought of before and contributed my vision of "feelings" that may have occurred in the manger. Amazed at the clarity of my insight, I knelt in humble prayer and thanked God for the spiritual goose bumps and confirmation that surged through my soul as I directed the holy family and a shepherd. I pondered how it could be that my view had been as though peering through a slightly drawn back curtain. A voice came into my heart and whispered these three unforgettable words: "You were there." Of course, I was! As heaven mobilized to send the best of its ranks down to earth to save man from sin, would not all who loved him have been anxious to witness such an event? Would not the auditions to sing with the heavenly host have provided great incentive to vocalize our sweetest strains of song?
This season, may we choose to have our vessels list to the angle of light and truth – toward the "star"board side. A vessel is stable and has proper equilibrium until it is loaded. An uneven distribution of dark choices can cause it to sink. If we "load" or properly distribute our lives with goodness, we can sail smoothly and uprightly. His light will guide us safely home. Jesus simply said, "Follow me." What is needed to follow His path? What do we make room for on our daily journeys? Lives cluttered with pleasures, idolatry, time-consuming wastefulness and excess may find the path obscured with selfishness. The Savior beckons, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). There is no price tag other than pursuing the right course. No Groupon is offered; no 50% off deals. No black Friday promotions are advertised. The price has been paid by the only perfect man to ever embark on the journey.
What's up? The Christmas star that shines on all who choose to make room for the light side and strive to dispel the dark side. "May the force for all righteousness be with you." – Nana's Notes
Melia: "What would the world look like if there was no Christ and the Dark Side really was the only side to choose?" Watch the video below to see what would of happened.
Here's a special gift from Brightly Street sketched by Melia as a Special Gift to remember to "never lack faith in Christ" this Christmas season and always! #aSaviorisBorn
Subscribe to our website and we'll email you the file below to print and give to someone this Christmas. You can frame or mount it on a board to hang on the wall. This is a super cheap and easy gift to give to someone this Christmas! Enjoy!