Friday, December 17, 2010
Light of the World
I was blessed to grow up in home where Christmas was always a magical time. For a little girl with an over-sized imagination, it was easy to get caught up in the idea of Santa Claus, Christmas presents and bulging stockings. There was one Christmas, however, that changed the “visions of sugar plums dancing in my head” into something quite different.
It was the Christmas I was finally old enough to belong to a girls group in our church called C.G.I.T. (Christian Girls in Training). It was to become a significant part of my life right through my teenage years, and this year I would take part in the Candle-lighting Service.
As one of the littlest girls I was at the end of the line as we made our way down the center aisle of the sanctuary. Our little church seemed magically changed with the lovely candles glowing in every window and the beautiful tree in front of the choir loft. I felt a sense of awe as we stood in front of the congregation and sang the ageless Carols and recited Luke 2 from memory.
I had a special part in the program that night. Two other little girls and I did hand motions as one of our leaders sang “There’s A Song In the Air” in a clear soprano voice.
As the evening drew to a close we slowly filed down from the stage, picked up a snow white candle and formed two lines up the side aisles of the church. Then the oldest girls lit their candles and turned to light the candle of the girl next to them. Down the rows the tiny flames burst into life as each girl in turn lit the candle of her neighbor.
I cannot put into words the feeling that filled my small heart as the lights in the church were turned out and we stood holding our lighted candles. We sang a final Carol, and I felt Christmas – the “real” Christmas – flood my heart with joy.
The Light of the World had come to dispel the darkness, and it was a gift that had no equal.
“Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.’”
John 8:12 (NAS)
a repost from my archives