“And the people who were walking in darkness have seen a great light. Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine upon them.” Isaiah 9:2
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
As a little girl, lying on my stomach, flat on our soft living-room carpet, I would gaze up at our tall Christmas tree, filled with the wonder of the beauty of Christmas. A totally dark room, except for the tree, gave me space to rest in the beauty of the light. Music wafted in the background, and I lay quiet amidst the twinkling lights. There was something peaceful and hopeful about the lights that shined into the darkness.
At that age, I had plenty of time to just enjoy the sparkling moments and the beauty of the story of a little baby and a mama and angels singing and shepherds tending sheep—the whole story thrilled me and men of great wisdom coming from a far off land, seeking a King and finding Him with a star shining over his home.
“Silent night, holy night,”
These memories filled the crevices of my soul and captured my imagination and filled me with wonder—a truly great story if ever there was one.
Sometimes in the flurry of overwhelmingly busy lives, I think adults forget the wonder, the sheer innocent delight our children are prone to—if we do not get in their way. Time to ponder, to dream, to imagine is essential to cultivating faith in our children.
If our children – if we – do not have time to ponder this light filling the darkness, we will miss the miracle, the sheer splendor of the story.
When children are so busy and burdened with the draining of constant activity of life, there is no room to ponder, no room to dream. Busyness robs children of soul-time, soul imagination and weakens their ability to cultivate faith. Busyness steals away the innocent wonder that is still a remnant hiding in the life of an adult.
When all of life is activity and none of it rest, the mind and body shut down.
Yet, to truly understand the gift of God coming to the world to bring hope, to restore hearts, to speak and live in redeeming love, we must have time to reflect on the meaning of His coming. There was the hopelessness of the darkness, just as in our day. People walking in darkness, living in hopelessness.
Take Time to Remember the Wonder of the Story
And then we remember and wonder at the hope that light brings, when one is living in darkness and has no way to go forward. And then to understand, that just as there is darkness in the days of our own life, there is still the love of God, coming again through a tiny baby, that brings light and hope to light up the darkness.
As we sit with our children to enjoy, to breathe in the beauty, we cradle their warm little bodies in our arms and we ponder with them the light, coming into darkness. We humble ourselves once again to ponder the message—the miracle of light coming to all people through a mama, a child and angels promising peace and good will to man, because the love of God compelled Him to shine His light into the darkness so that always, we would have hope.
But to have our souls refilled with the sparkle of the story, we must still our souls, become as a child—for such is the kingdom of God.
Sally Clarkson, I Take Joy