This morning, I light a candle and whisper a prayer to Jesus to make his presence known. The light flickers and I think of our Advent wreathe … all the candles spent, wax hardened around their skirts. In church yesterday, we lit the Christ candle, still flocked by greenery and those other four extinguished lights.
In the olden days, the pre-Christian German tribes lit candles as a sign of hope during the long, cold days of winter. These ancient peoples prayed to the god of light to “turn the wheel of the earth” back toward the warming light of the sun.
They did not know who he was. But we do. We have this: good news of great joy.
We light these candles, not to turn the wheel of the earth. For it is our hearts that need the turning. The prophet Jeremiah tells us the heart is deceitful above all things…and isn’t it the truth? Don’t our hearts seek all that shimmers, that great noisy bustle, the crazy excess that this season offers?
Don’t I worry that the gifts I bring won’t be enough?
I sit in this warm house and listen as wind murmurs against the chimney; I watch through the window as it dances with undressed trees. The lights on the Christmas tree still wink soft and my boys’ voices drift down the stairs to me—they are lost in some game that only brothers understand.
This moment pulses with light—this point on the wreathe journey flickers and then fans into flame. Christ is all Light. And I know the real joy of Christmas is not in the manger. It is right here—in this moment and in all the moments he has given us in this resurrected life.
back into warmth
away from darkness
and into hope.
light a candle
in my heart for
until the flames
consume all with
the red blood of
How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:
The Playdates button: