In our home, one of our preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth is the lighting of our advent wreath. Each of the four Sundays before Christmas we light a candle…beginning with one, and adding a candle each week. On Christmas day, we light the “Christ candle” in the center of the wreath.
My kids love this tradition and seem to soak in more of the real meaning and celebration of Christmas each year as we share our advent devotions as a family. They always want to extinguish all of the lights in the house before lighting the candles on the wreath. One small candle makes a world of difference in a completely darkened room. Each week the contrast between light and dark is magnified as new candles are lit and the brightness increases. It’s a great illustration for our children to understand how Jesus is the Light of the World and shines light into all of the dark places—and how the light ALWAYS overcomes the darkness. It is the light that does the work, those in darkness do nothing but receive that light and the darkness fades away.
It’s also a great illustration to see how each of us as children of God reflect the light of Christ in our lives. Christ entered our world to drive out the darkness. In Christ we are a new creation and the light of Christ can shine through us and allow others to see and come to know Christ.
This Christmas I am thankful for each and every child advocate who is carrying the light of Christ into unknown corners of the world through your faithfulness. By sharing what you know to be true, you are bringing a world of opportunity into the lives of children who are combatting the pervasive darkness of a world of poverty that surrounds them. You are shining the light of Christ and igniting hope, peace, joy, and love as little ones come to know their Savior, Jesus. You are bearers of light. Light that cannot be extinguished. Light that illuminates the way and casts out fear and oppression along life’s journey. Light that brings a new identity that cannot be shaken.
May the light of Christ shine brightly on you this Christmas and every day!