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)

Christmas Blessings,
Linda

a repost from my archives

10 comments:

Bev said...

praise God for his wonderful gift...blessings to you this holiday season...
xo

Sandy said...

I enjoyed reading about your Christmas
as a girl, Linda. Very touching.

May the real joy of Christmas flood all
of our hearts this season and always.
Love & Blessings,
Sandy

S. Etole said...

I can feel the warmth of that time through your words.

grammy said...

what a wonderful memory. I love the memories from being a girl at Christmas. Ahhhh (o:
I never got to be a candle lighter though. Sounds great.

deb said...

oh, how glorious for you.

I love when that love comes like that.

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

What a sweet and beautiful Christmas memory Linda! I loved to hear how the 'real' Christmas filled your heart with joy. I hope you and your family have a wonderful, merry Christmas!

Maxine said...

I really did like reading this, Linda. Yes, the light of the world has come to dispel the darkness and I certainly hope that important fact doesn't get lost in all that glitters.

Dawn said...

I love the mental picture this brings to my mind. I love candlelight services - the light in the darkness is so symbolic. We never did Santa in our house and I have a hard time carrying it off with the grandgirls, because their mommy evidently felt left out and started the tradition in their house.

Have a great week-end! Wedding time here - lots of fun and excitement and stuff to do!

Anonymous said...

a wondrerful memory

Kerri said...

Linda, you have some wonderful memories and I'm so glad you share them with us.
We do the candle lighting ceremony at our church each year at the end of our Christmas Eve service. All the congregation gathers in a circle and after the candles are lit, and the lights turned off, we sing Silent Night. It's my favorite part.
Your header photo is so beautiful. What a gorgeous quilt!