With 20,000 lights strung across the front of his property, Jonathan Christian is lighting up his community with the story of Jesus.
Following the challenges of 2020, Christian decided to bring some joy to his neighborhood. In November 2021, he spent nearly 50 hours installing lights across the front of his home and several other structures and nearby trees in Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia.
The display includes a life-size nativity scene, which Christian constructed with the help of his friend Trent Keegan, an Avondale University theology student. Going one step further to share the story of Jesus, Christian installed a box in front of the property where free literature is available, including two tracts, “What’s the Glory in the Christmas Story?” and “Finding Hope in an Uncertain World,” and copies of the book Discover Jesus.
About 200 people visited Christian’s display on the “big switch-on” night, December 1, and many more have visited since then. He is unsure how much of the free literature has been taken, but he has had to restock the box several times.
“This is a great opportunity to build bridges with the people in the neighborhood and those from further away,” Christian, a member of the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church, said.
“Each night, the lights come on at 8:00 p.m. for two hours, and visitors can walk around the display or view it from the roadside,” Christian said. “You won’t find any blow-up Santas in this display. Both the display and the music are unashamedly Christian, and many people have commented on this. I have heard lots of children say, ‘Can I have a photo with baby Jesus?’ to their parents.
“It’s only a small thing, but hopefully, it has a big impact as people take the literature and are prompted to think about the real meaning of Christmas.”