On this last day of the year, in 1879, American inventor Thomas Edison lit up the night for about 3,000 spectators along a street in Menlo Park, New Jersey. While Edison received over 1,000 patents for his many inventions, one of the most significant is the practical incandescent light bulb he displayed on that New Year’s Eve.
About thirty miles away and 28 years later, in 1907, that invention was once again on display to light up the evening sky. One hundred tiny 25-watt light bulbs made their maiden journey up a flagpole in Times Square, Manhattan, as fixtures to the first 700-pound New Year’s Eve Ball. That initial ball was five feet in diameter and weighed about 700 pounds. Every year since, except for 1942 and 1943 for the World War II “dim out,” the ball’s lights shine in the darkness as crowds gather below to “ring out the old, ring in the new.” Many of us will probably tune in to see this traditional event this evening.
Nearly two millennia before Edison’s light bulb, an event happened that illuminated the world and gave us reason to celebrate far more so than to witness a flashing ball drop. The true light, which enlightens everyone, came into the world. Jesus Christ was born.
We continue to celebrate the light shining in the darkness this Christmas season. On the second Sunday of Christmas, January 2, 2022, we gather at 9:00 AM for a half-hour spoken liturgy and again at 10:00 AM for a traditional Holy Communion liturgy to celebrate the light of Christ. Will you join us and witness the light of all people?