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(Child-Like) Faith by Candlelight

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world…Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:4,12)

My memories of Christmases from childhood are a montage of festive food, family,

brightly wrapped packages, and the world around me wrapped in twinkling lights. I remember how the day before Christmas would yawn and stretch out like a slow and lazy cat. Long hours felt like days, culminating in a candlelight service at our home church.

My mom would help me hold my candle, the background of our stained glass church, verses, and carols blurring into a Christmas lullaby. My heart would fill with such joy and anticipation I thought I’d burst, but I stood still so I wouldn’t drip the wax, knowing somewhere deep down that these moments were sacred.

On those nights, my excitement was stirred in the knowledge that the sunrise would spill over a lit tree trimmed and propped up with piles of gifts from Santa. In my grown up brain, most of the gifts are formless and unnamed. What I remember is who was there: mom, dad, my brother, and sisters. I remember joy, and I remember the

anticipation of those candlelit Christmas eves.

My mom would sing songs that formed the Christmas story in my mind. My dad would repeat the story to me from picture books, and read chapter 2 of Luke from his worn brown Bible. It was the story that was too grand to comprehend, but I believed with childlike certainty. The things of faith aren’t formed in the same black and white clarity as arithmetic and phonics, but shaped my heart in profound ways I could never fully

explain or comprehend. But, I “treasured up all these things and pondered them in my (child-sized) heart (Luke 2:19).”

This year at Christmas, I pray you also tell the story to your children, that you live your faith, and trust that God will form their faith in ways beyond what we ourselves could ask or imagine…


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