Visit the Shop at

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Light of Christ; Circles of Flame

The Light of Christ; Circles of Flame

I peer over the classroom shelf at the four candles.  They seem so tall; they tower over my five year old stature.  Three purple, one pink, beautiful.  The Kindergarten teacher teaches us the prayer to say as the candle is lit…
Oh come, oh come Emmanuel.  Come Lord Jesus.
It is Hope Week, the first week of Advent.  The manger in our classroom is empty.  Baby Jesus does not arrive there until Christmas.  In church, on Christmas Eve, the young ones will carry him up near the altar and place him in the bed of straw.  We are excited.
One candle is lit each week until his arrival.  We learn that the candles are purple for repentance and to represent royalty in the coming of our King.  They teach us that we are saved by grace.  They teach us that he told us to be Holy.  We cannot save ourselves, but we ought to examine ourselves and prepare to meet our King.  We learn to anticipate his coming.  We learn to wait.  It is Peace week.  Advent is about waiting.

We sit in the hard wooden pews for chapel.  We are in middle school now, so we can sit farther toward the back, behind the younger ones.  It is a rite of passage.  A Kindergarten student is called forward to light the second candle.  She trips.  We giggle.  But in truth, we all trip sometimes.  She reaches up on tip toes, she has far to go.  Flame meets wick and glows.
Oh come, oh come Emmanuel.  Come Lord Jesus.
It is Peace Week, the second week of advent.
Come and heal my teenage anxieties.  Teach me to deal with my angst.  Teach me to hope and to trust that everything with come to fruition.

I sit across the dining room table from my young husband.  My three year old stands on the dining room chair.  Her hand in mine, wrapped around the candle-lighter.   Left hand resting on the table.  Right hand reaching to light the first three candles.  Steady…steady…
Oh come, oh come Emmanuel.  Come Lord Jesus.
It is Joy week.  That’s why the third candle is pink.
Teach me to wait.  Teach me to remain steadfast as I wait for our youthful efforts to find stability and routine and balance slowly work themselves out.  Teach me to hope in the promise.  Come into our home.  Bless our family life.  Come and teach me to have patience with her boundless energy.  Teach me acceptance of my infertility.  You have blessed me with one miracle.  She is joy.  You are joy.
Years have passed.  It is Love Week.  I have received many gifts of love.  My now seventeen year old lights the fourth candle.  The tiny flame flickers and glows bright on ivory skin.  It shines in clear hazel-blue eyes.  She is beautiful now.  She stands on the precipice of life. 
Teach me to trust that you will provide for her.  Teach me patience so that I’ll not rush her too quickly into adult life.  Teach me to be secure in the hope that you will bless her with a godly man who will protect and provide her and lead his family with vision and strength.  Come into her life and give her wisdom.  Remain steadfast in the heart of her future husband, wherever he is.  Whoever he is.  Give her joy.  Give them joy.
Oh come, oh come Emmanuel.  Come Lord Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. How beautiful this is Michelle, how beautiful is a mother's love.


Welcome! We love to hear from you. You are embraced here in Christian charity.Your comment will not show up immediately. Rest assured that is has been received and will be published soon.

Pax Christi!