Turn On the Light

“REED” This


Turn On the Light


I have many great memories of Christmas at my grandparents. Both sets lived in the same town in southern Oklahoma, so we were able to see and visit with all of them every year. We would alternate each year which house we would spend the night with on Christmas Eve. When we were at my mother’s parents, there was the family tradition of caroling on Christmas Eve. I loved this tradition. Being one of twenty grandchildren made for a large caravan of station wagons and singers. My aunt Johnnie was the church secretary, so she had the list of shut-ins from their church, as well as others that needed to be visited. We would pull up to a house, all of us cousins and aunts and uncles would unload from the vehicles and gather just out from the front door. One of us would knock and there was a brief pause, making sure someone was coming to the door, then we would begin singing. We usually sang at least three carols of two verses each, then we would wish them a Merry Christmas and load back up in the cars and head to the next house. As I recall, I don’t remember any of the houses we went to being right next to the other. We always had to drive a little from one house to the next. There was one particular house I always remembered well. Unlike all the others, when we stopped in front of this house there were no lights on. No lights outside and no lights inside. This man was not a shut-in, because I remembered seeing him at their church, and even playing the piano one time. We would gather around his door like the other houses. Someone would knock, but we would wait until he came out before singing. He was always so cheerful and happy that we had come. As he came out, he would say, “Let me turn a light on for you.” His porch light would come on and then we would begin to sing. The thing was, he didn’t need any lights because he was blind. He couldn’t see us but would turn a light on so we could see him.


I remember laughing when he would speak and turn his porch light on for us. It was awesome that he thought of us and knew that would help. I was always fascinated by this man. I often thought how different his life must be not being able to see. Yet, he had a house, lived there by himself, and was able to go and do as needed. And he had been able to do that for a while, as I remember him being older. Here was a man who couldn’t see other people, couldn’t see Christmas decorations or lights of any kind, yet he knew and worshipped Jesus. He couldn’t see the light with his eyes, but he knew the Light because someone had told him. He had been taught the true meaning of Christmas, the reason for the season. Even though he was impaired because of his lack of sight, as someone shared Jesus with him, he was able to see spiritually and understand his need for Christ. Someone loved him enough to know he needed Jesus, and he had to be told.


Who do you need to tell? There are many who can see with their eyes but still need to see with their hearts. They need to be told why we celebrate Christmas. They need to be told why Jesus was born. They need to be told what He has done for them. Jesus said in John 12:46, “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer remain in the dark.” We don’t want anyone to be blind to the gospel of Jesus. Let’s be sure we are sharing with them the Light that has come. “No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.” Luke 11:33


We always ended our caroling at my grandparents’ house, where we started. We went through the same routine; someone knocked as we all gathered by the door. Then, we would sing for Granny and Daddy John, the ones who started the family and continued the Christian family heritage by telling their daughters of the Light of the world that was born on that first Christmas. Then they told us. When we were done, we all went back into their house for hot chocolate and goodies to eat. I miss those times of caroling and spending time together with family. We are all spread out across the country now with many of us cousins now being the grandparents. The family tradition of caroling may not be still going, but through the grace and strength of Christ, the tradition and heritage of sharing our faith in Jesus is still going strong.


Bro. Paul Reed


Tuesday, December 7, 2021