If you dropped an alien into a medium sized American town on Christmas Eve, down the street from a church, what would he make of the scene?
He would probably report back that Earthlings are obsessed with light.
He would first notice that houses and buildings have lights attached to the walls of the structure. Looking closer, he would see a tree inside of a house with lights covering it. If he began to observe strings of cars pulling into a nearby parking lot, he would step into the church and observe some kind of ceremony centered around light.
At the front of the church, there are small flickering lights at the end of a colored cylinder like stick and more of the electric lights illuminating the room. If he was able to understand human speech, he would hear words about “the Light of the World” and “the people living in darkness have seen a great light, on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Then, more small sticks of light would be passed around and all of the people would hold up the sticks in a posture of salute and worship.
This alien might walk back to his ship not understanding that it is not light that we worship but The Light. “This Light signs in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” If our alien friend was really observant and intelligent, he might recognize that those who follow The Light are children of that Light. That we possess the Light of the World and any darkness that we have inside of us is slowly being quenched by this Light.
photo credit: Geri