Luminaries are a common tradition throughout the United States, and especially in parts of New Mexico. Paper bags filled with sand and candles are placed along the road, on sidewalks, porches, and rooftops to light the way for the Christ child.
I see it as a beautiful thing to invite Christ to stop and come into our homes at Christmas time. When Joseph and Mary entered Bethlehem, they were not welcomed. They both knew the child Mary was carrying was the Son of God, but still, they were given no place to rest but a dirty stable with the animals. Mary was probably frightened as many women who labor with their first child. Joseph was probably terrified. Men didn’t deliver babies in those days and it became clear to him as he went from door to door that not only would they not have a decent place to stay the night, but he would be catching the baby of a women he barely knew.
But God knew their plight and sent His spirit to wash over them. Do the scriptures say this? No, but looking at my life and the lives of others tell me that when God asks us to bear something that seems too much, He is with us, carrying us every step of the way.
So light the way this Christmas. Place out luminaries not only outside your home, but also in your heart that invite the Christ child to come in. Don’t let another Christmas go by where Jesus is shut out in the cold night.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.