Oh holy night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the Soul
felt its worth...
When I was growing up, Christmas Eve was a magical time filled with awe, reverence, family, & Love.
I have memories of wrapping canned foods, toys, socks, and toiletries in white tissue paper and then taking seriously, my job of insuring the scotch tape held. Together with other families, we laid these gifts at the nativity scene, which was reenacted by some of our friends while the church choir sang "O holy night!
I loved seeing Mary and Joseph, dressed in sheets, kneeling over baby Jesus. The year we had a real donkey was especially exciting for me.
It was a special time because our family was together.
I remember sensing a seriousness in the joy and the celebration of attending candlelight service together. We sat together in the dimly lit church, listening to the Christmas story, singing carols from memory and passing the "light of the world".
I knew I was part of something grand and wonderful!
Even as a young child, I envisioned a global sharing of this Peace, Love and Light. The quiet and serenity of Silent Night cradled the world.
Children have a way of keeping life real. For these natural sensory receptors, Christmas is an experiential event of innocence and wonder. Humbled in their youthful focus and unlimited imagination, children easily receive Christmas.
A child isn't burdened by the weight of daily responsibilities, haunted by replaying past memories, or obsessing how a future event might turn out. Children don't focus on how everyone else might be feeling or whether or not they "have done enough" to warrant participation.
Jesus taught us that we are all God's children. Each of us, by nature, is a part of God and all that God is.... Babies bring to us the essence and promise of Life; our connection and relationship to God's infinite Peace, Joy and Love.
I am reminded of a story about a little boy whose family was blessed with a baby girl. Several times a day this big brother would stand quietly at the side of her crib, focused intently on his sister, as if listening.
One time while watching from behind the door, his parents overheard him whisper,
"Please sister, tell me again about God. I am starting to forget and I want to remember."
In your rituals and celebration this Christmas,
May your hearts and your homes be filled with Love,
And on this holy night,
May you know the magic and true Spirit of Christmas,
as seen through the eyes of a child...