The Christmas Light


image_thumb.pngA View from the Nest

Random Ramblings from the Resident Raptor

Insight from the Journey across the Sky

And the light goes on shining in the dark; it is not overcome by the dark. John 1:5 (BBE)


Fourth man
Image by stuant63 via Flickr

Traveling East on the PA turnpike late Christmas Eve a strange thing happened. As I was approaching the city limits of Philadelphia the sky grew brighter and my visibility increased greatly. It was like the sun was starting to rise. The only problem was the clock read 1 AM, far too early for a sunrise. But the closer I got to the city the brighter the sky appeared. I was amazed at how much light was being refracted off the low cloud cover and the light intensity being reflected off the snow covered ground. I do not recall ever seeing anything like this before in my life and I was truly awestruck. In fact I had to double check the time to make absolutely sure it was only 1 AM.

Light is an amazing thing. It does not take a lot of light to illuminate the night. Prior to reaching Philadelphia I had logged over 200 miles of dark stretches of the PA turnpike. I drove past several cities and did not notice this daylight effect until reaching the outskirts of Philadelphia. I really do not understand the science behind this strange lighted nighttime sky but it was truly a remarkable experience.


Since it was Christmas morning I thought it was appropriate that the sky would be illuminated by a mysterious light. Astronomers will probably be able to explain to me how exactly the night sky appeared as if dawn was approaching and I would enjoy any knowledge that could be shed on this phenomenon. My little bit of research for this article did not uncover anything but I am sure there is an explanation.

Today the Christian church celebrates Epiphany, the story of the wise men coming to Jerusalem from the East to follow a light seen shining in the Eastern sky. They too were amazed at the bright light in the Eastern Sky and sought out the meaning of it. They traveled to Jerusalem for they knew that a King of Israel was born, and Jerusalem was the seat of government so that is where they went to inquire of the new kings birth. Herod called all the chief priests and scribes together to inquire of the scriptures as to were exactly this king was to be born. Wouldn’t it be nice if our own government leaders would take time to inquire of the scriptures to explain the times and seasons.

Now when the birth of Jesus took place in Beth-lehem of Judaea, in the days of Herod the king, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is the King of the Jews whose birth has now taken place? We have seen his star in the east and have come to give him worship. And when it came to the ears of Herod the king, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And he got together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, questioning them as to where the birth-place of the Christ would be. And they said to him, In Beth-lehem of Judaea; for so it is said in the writings of the prophet, You Beth-lehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the chiefs of Judah: out of you will come a ruler, who will be the keeper of my people Israel. Matthew 2:1-6

Unlike the wise me I, on the other hand, was heading East to join family and friends for Christmas day. I was not in search of a King, nor was I following a star, but because of this nighttime illumination I was reminded of the real meaning of the season. God’s magnificent creation was proclaiming all over again that Jesus is the Light of the world, and He had come to illuminate the darkness. Anyone who follows after the Light will not stumble around in darkness but have the light of life. John 8:12 NKJV


Have you seen the light? Has your life been illuminated by the light the shines in the darkness? Are you like the Wise men of old seeking the King whose star was seen shining in the Eastern sky? One day Jesus is going to come again and his coming will be like a light shining from East to West. Will you be ready when He appears?

Because as in a thunderstorm the bright light coming from the east is seen even in the west; so will be the coming of the Son of man. Matt 24:27 (BBE)

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)



Along for the journey

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