Covington loves celebrating Christmas! The lights on the Square are beautiful. Chimney Park’s lights look great. There are plenty of residents that show their joy as well by putting up an abundance of lights. The people of Covington/Newton County love their Christmas lights.
Christmas is all about light. God sent a light into the world that can never be put out. Some have tried to put this light out. Throughout history, there have been attempts to stop the light from spreading or to snuff it out entirely. What is this light you may ask? It’s Jesus. That’s it. I know it sounds like a Sunday School answer, but it is.
Here is the deal, God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, here to be put to death on a cross for our sins. We are offered to accept this awesome gift of salvation from Jesus. If we choose to do so, we are given eternal life. We get to spend eternity in Heaven with God the Father. That’s a pretty cool deal in my opinion. We can’t do anything to earn this gift. It is just given and we choose whether or not we accept it. I think all Christ followers can agree on this.
My reason for explaining all this is I want to challenge each of you reading this to spread the Light of Jesus this Christmas season. Let us just show the love of Christ to everyone that we encounter. We have an opportunity as a community to be a light to each individual that we come in contact with. Could you imagine if every person in Newton County was kind and patient to everyone they interacted with this Christmas? Let’s make Newton County a county that shines so bright that it’s light pours over into the surrounding area and let’s not just do for Christmas. Let’s carry it into the New Year, Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s, and all through the next year.
If we can do this, as a community, for an entire year it will become a habit. How awesome would it be if people visiting said, “There is something different about Newton County. I don’t know what it is, but I like it.” I think it would be super cool. Let us band together and be that light that shines. It could be as easy as holding a door open for someone or giving up a great parking spot. You never know how much your kindness can change somebody’s day.
I know that this might sound crazy to some of you reading this. I have been spending a lot of time in the New Testament and one thing I have noticed is that every time Jesus interacted with someone he was kind to them. He treated them with dignity and love. He didn’t care about their standing in society or what political part their bumper sticker supported. He just loved them for who they were, where they were, plain and simple. Let us try to duplicate Jesus’ behavior and love our neighbors and maybe our neighbors will love their neighbors.
Matthew 5:16 sums it all up by saying, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Let’s do this to show everyone how awesome our God is and that He is truly worth celebrating. I like what Nelson Mandela said about this subject, “When you let your own light shine, you unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” Let your light shine so others will follow. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and be awesome!
Andy Butts was born and raised in Newton County. He is the youth pastor at Journey Church in Oxford. He loves God, his wife, his children, food, Ethiopia, and Star Wars.