I prefer to start the season of Advent in the dark; in a place where no star exists, only the prophecy of the birth of light and the incarnation of Love in the form of a tiny child. I prefer to watch homes light up as Advent begins and I love the gradual lighting of trees and homes, brightening the hearts of all who look upon them.
The house somehow seems warmer, cozier and I overcome the anxiety of Christmas preparation by replacing it with the anxious anticipation of the gathering of the family. One by one family arrives on our Chirstmas Day Christmas Eve. That's right, this blended family does Christmas Eve on Christmas night so that everyone can stay over night and spend the entire day in jammies, opening presents, eating brunch, making our annual Christmas video, eating dinner and more, more more...!
Then it happens. Again, gradually, the kids leave. One by one they are on to the next activity on their holiday list. It's not like the "olden" days when we had an entire school vacation to fool around. And, although the lights are still lit in the house, and no one has extinguished any of them, the place seems less bright and dims with the fading footsteps on the walk. it seems the light is going out.
That is the reality of being a parent of grown children. It is not until I sit in the room, tree still lit, looking at pictures of our family event and editing the silly annual video that the light shines brighter and brighter. The warmth in my heart is the love and gratitude I feel as I embrace each child with my heart.
I am so grateful of the gift of love that first Christmas. Let the light of love shine brightly in your life this new year. Go into 2014 with the understanding that the God of Love has more love for you than we can understand. On your dark days, let God turn on the light of love to shine on your path.
So, the lights of the tree come down. The candles on the hearth go out. As we turn off the lights of Christmas may we brighten the light of our hearts even more. May your days be Merry and Bright, and may you always, always follow the light of love. Happy New Year.
So, let YOUR light shine before people in such a way that they will see your good actions and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16