It was difficult finding Christ in the rush of cookie baking, magazines listing 15 ways to make this "the best Christmas ever," Christmas music all day — every day — on the local radio station. And messages everywhere encouraging me to go out and buy, buy, buy.
I wanted to go home and shut down.
But we were visiting our daughter and family for Thanksgiving in Nashville, Tenn. During a quiet afternoon break, with the kids napping, she asked for some help with holiday decorating. My job was to wrap the lighted garlands around the railings of the upstairs landing.
The job completed, I heard a little voice calling. It was Scarlett, our 2-year-old granddaughter. I opened the door to her room, went in and lifted her from the crib. It was then that she noticed the lights on the garland, glowing on the railing. Something new had been added to her world.
"Nana! Dere's Christmas out dere!" she said excitedly. I carried her out onto the landing.
"Nana, look! Dere's another Christmas!" she exclaimed, as she looked at the mantel agleam with more lights.
And on and on she went, finding "Christmases" throughout the house. Each place of light had been transformed into her definition of Christmas.
How did a 2-year-old come to be so wise?
To Scarlett, Christmas was light, the light she found just by opening her eyes and looking. But, as we walked around the house, the realization came to me that it was the light that I, too, was seeking — the light I know as God's love in Jesus Christ.
With Scarlett I saw it clearly, the enduring light of grace given to each of us every day, not just on Christmas.
© 2016 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers