“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices…”
These words come from my favorite Christmas carol “O Holy Night.” We sang them at our Lessons and Carols service last Sunday night. As I stood in the back singing after taking up the offering, I couldn’t help but cry as I looked around and thought about how many of us have been weighed down this year by the weariness of the world, yet in the midst of that have been miraculously sustained by the eternal hope we have in Christ.
As we sang, I watched the dark sanctuary slowly light up as we began passing candle light from one person to the next. I’ve been to candle light services before, but there is something profoundly moving about watching it come to life from the back of the sanctuary. As the light slowly builds, you eagerly await your turn to light your small candle, and in one tiny motion, you have the light! It’s an amazingly beautiful thing to watch as just one small flame slowly ignites an entire church.
That small light represents the thrill of hope Christ’s birth brings to a people walking in darkness, weighed down by the weary world. With this light, we can rejoice as we eagerly celebrate the wonders of His love and the luminous light that Christ has brought to us.
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12 (NIV)
Standing next to me on Sunday was an adorable two year old girl who could hardly contain herself. She was so excited about lighting her candle. She kept swaying from side to side and anxiously looking at her mother asking, “Is it time yet?!?” She was ready for the light!
As we walk through Christmas surrounded by lights on trees, houses, wreaths, and just about everywhere you can imagine, I pray that we will reflect on the light of life that Christ has brought into this dark world. And that just like the little two year old, we will eagerly await and yearn for more of the light of Christ.
“Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born…”