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Hartselle Mayor Randy Garrison

Let light shine 

By Randy Garrison

Hartselle Mayor

Christmas Eve night, Lynn and I attended the Service of Candlelight and Communion at First United Methodist. The service concluded with the lighting of the Christ candle on the advent wreath, and from there each person attending the worship service shared the light from the Christ candle.  

Silent Night was sung as the concluding song, and as the lights in the sanctuary were turned down, the glow from approximately 300 candles was amazing. 

Senior pastor Mike Pope gave the benediction about carrying Christ’s light out into the world. He also mentioned how the light from one candle is not very bright, but when many share the light, it makes a big difference.  

There is something very moving about singing with candlelight and watching the flames flicker from the candles.  

Light in the darkness – just as it was the night Christ was born, with light from the star and light from the heavenly hosts as they notified the shepherds about the birth of the Messiah.   

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, I am thelightoftheworld. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have thelightof life. John 8:12 (NIV) 

Many of us sang this song in Vacation Bible School or Sunday school as young kids, but the words have a very deep meaning as adults. 

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine 

Other verses include I’m gonna take this light all over the world and Hide it under a bushel? NO! 

The world is full of darkness, but His light still shines in our lives. Our job and mission is to take His light out into the world.  

While we might not be able to eliminate the darkness in the world, we are able to shine a light into our small part of the world. One tiny candle cannot eliminate darkness, but many candles working together can make a huge difference not only in our lives but the lives of those around us. 

As we move into a new year, one full of promise and newness, I challenge all of us to share the light Christ brought into the world more than 2,000 years ago.  

We sang about the angels heralding His birth and the star over the manger, but as we remember why He came into the world and what He has done in our lives,  let us all together share that with those who might not have His light shining brightly in their lives. 

Yes, the world might be a dark place, but He has promised we are His, and we will never walk in darkness again. 

The days might dim, and we will struggle, but He is there for us.  

Happy New Year, and may all of us let His light continue to shine brightly in our lives so others want that light in their lives as well.