Bryan’s first Christmas Eve on this earth was spent in the choir loft of church, cuddled up in the pews of the soprano section – held in place while the anthems were sung. My singing friends made sure to position themselves so that seven-month-old Bryan wouldn’t roll off the pew as they stood to sing. Even though I was in front of them conducting – working on that first Christmas Eve as a new mother – I felt a sense of peace and the beginning of an understanding of how Mary must have felt on that first Christmas night. The wonder of a new life and the indescribable love that bathes the soul when pondering that miracle were palpable.
When he had grown to age seven, he actually had a line in the Sunday School Christmas pageant. I was thrilled that the Christian Education director had given him a little speaking part and included him in the annual production. We drilled him on his line incessantly, as it took a while to sink in. How well I remember it: “Jesus is a light for this dark world.” He said it perfectly during the performance and my heart swelled with pride witnessing this special milestone. Acceptance and inclusion into the Body of Christ – Bryan was in costume like all of the other kids and part of delivering the Christmas story to the congregation.
I still think about that line and it’s appropriateness in today’s world, some thirty-three years later. Jesus is the Light of the World. “The people that walk in darkness have seen a great light.” (Isaiah 9:2) How we need to be reminded of the Light!
Yesterday was the longest night of the year. From now until June the days will lengthen. As the light increases in our daily lives, may we become the light of Christ to others who are struggling, who need a hug, a smile, a warm meal, a prayer.
Let us remember those less fortunate than we are not just at Christmas time, but all the year through. As we enjoy those wonderful, warm holiday traditions with family and friends, think on The One who came to this earth to bring the Light to all, regardless of race, gender, social status, political leanings or intellect.
And, like Bryan, keep Christmas in your heart. I recall this quote from Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” – “And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!”
And, in the words of Tiny Tim, oft quoted by Mr. Bryan – “God bless us, everyone!”