In our family, we’ve always been strict on Christmas decorations – nothing goes up before the beginning of December. It’s become a tradition that the first Sunday evening of December we put up the tree and the lights. There is never a shortage of people prepared to put the decorations up – they’re never there when the decorations come down!
My kids reminded me of the rules on the weekend when I spent an hour putting fairy lights up around our back verandah. I was quick to point out that they weren’t Christmas decorations, but decorations for Summer – which they were happy to accept.
However, I was thinking of these little lights shining as I read this Sunday’s Gospel, which utilises the symbolism of keeping a light on. The reading of the bridesmaids and their lamps has been specially chosen as we come to the end of the year. In a Church sense this happens at the end of November – before Advent.
We leave the front lights of our homes on to welcome visitors, to show we are home and to give a sense of safety and security.
Before our Christmas preparations get underway, it is worth considering how our inner lights might shine to give welcome, hospitality, safety and security to others.