Driving home this evening I saw a lot more houses and trees with Christmas lights. From what I have been told, Czechs usually don’t decorate until Christmas Eve or a few days before Christmas. Based on what I saw tonight, that’s definitely true because even our own landlord had Christmas lights hanging from her balcony and a little wreath on our shared front door (shown below).
I made a stop at the grocery store when I got town and the place was crazy. There were a ton more cars than normal and people were in super shopping mode. Christmas Eve is the day they open presents here, so I guess I was just caught in the middle of the last minute gift shopping. Everything was on sale, so I honestly don’t blame them. I actually made a stop at a second store for some other items and it too was full of people, and both stores had vendors outside selling live carp (that’s fish), which is a tradition here.
But as I was out, I was listening to the carol “We Three Kings” as sung and arranged by Steven Curtis Chapman. I’m sure I’ve heard the song a thousand times, but the words just really sank in tonight. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m aware of just how spiritually dark Czech is, but the song ministered to me as I saw the flickering lights and Christmas shoppers.
The carol walks through the life of Christ from His birth, death, and resurrection. The refrain ends with a line that just stuck with me today that says, “Guide us to thy perfect light.” I think I’m interpreting this correctly, but the light here is Christ. The imperfect star the kings are following is just leading them to a perfect light, the source of light, the Light of the World.
As I listened, my heart was heavy for the Czech people. So many will hang lights and celebrate this year without any knowledge of the True Light, Jesus Christ. My heart was filled with compassion for the many around the globe who will exchange gifts and travel to see family, again, without an understanding of the gospel of Jesus. My prayer tonight is that God would guide the lost to the Perfect Light this Christmas. I hope He uses me to do it, and I hope He uses many others around the world as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.