A Single Red Bulb

Numerous, tangled strings of large multi-colored bulbs.  Swag lights.  LEDS.  Tiny twinkling bulbs.  With and without garland.  Out on the bushes and trees – along the sidewalk, and up on the housetop.  Even animated, illuminated deer!  Over the years we have tried every imaginable variation of outdoor lighting at Christmas.  Ladders and extension cords everywhere!  It has been great fun!

But one idea has stuck.  For many Christmases now, we have landed on using only a long, single strand of bright, white outdoor lighting- providing a clean, simple appearance.  Hundreds of white lights to illuminate the night – celebrating the true Light of the World.

One year, though, it was someone’s idea to switch out just one white bulb with a bright red bulb.  And the result has been fascinating.  The one red bulb is located right above the garage door.  As we come and go our eyes are immediately drawn not to the hundreds of white lights, but the single red bulb.

Why one red bulb?  Quite simple.  To serve as a quiet reminder of our Savior coming to this world and the price paid on our behalf at Calvary.  Because of his loving, ultimate sacrifice, we can know salvation and an eternity in His presence.  Because of God’s great love and compassion on us, He sent His only son to seek and to save the lost.  That would be you and me.

From time to time, we are asked “why just one red bulb?”  And we gently explain that it is how we remind ourselves of the true reason for Christ coming to this earth.  Messiah has come!  And He lives today!

“How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given.

So God imparts to human hearts the blessing of His heaven

No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,

Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.”

A single red bulb has become more than just a tradition for our family – it has become a way to share the true meaning of Christmas.