At the Christmas Eve service at my church, I read this short piece before I lit the Christ candle in the Advent Wreath. This is what Christmas is all about for me.
We all have the Light
We celebrate the birth of a man who, because he knew the light of God‑ness shines in all people, inspired us to live with compassion and to pursue justice.
Through stories of shepherds, Samaritans, widows, lepers, prodigal sons and mustard seeds, he embodied the idea that regardless of how we look, where we were born or whom we love, we all have the same shining Light—from the same Source—within.
Christmas Eve is also a birthday party for our daughter. She was the one who reminded me of this Light when she was born 23 years ago today. At the time of her birth I had dismissed God from my life as unnecessary, a figment of the imagination. We are all just atoms and molecules, I thought. And then she came to us with her individuality, her spark, her vibrant spirit, her Light, and I had to re-evaluate. And then our son came along—so different from our daughter—and yet shining with the same Light.
The Christ candle represents how beautiful and perfect and valuable we all are and how, because of that, compassionate justice is the only answer.
We light the Christ candle because more than two thousand years ago a man was born who showed us that deep in our hearts we have a common vision, purpose, longing and goal. Deep in our hearts we have the Light.