“I want to walk as a child of the light.
I want to follow Jesus.”
THIS ADVENT HYMN holds great meaning for me, living as I do in North America. In the midst of days when the sun is distant and the days are shortening, I sing an affirmation, “I want to walk as a child of the light.” The promised coming of [the Christ] child mirrors the promise that, shortly after December 21, the days will begin again to lengthen. Christmas falls so close to the Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice that I think of Christ’s coming as synonymous with the return of the sun. …
But what about my neighbors to the south; how do they mark these days? They also want to walk as “children of the light.” They have both day and night, and during the night, the stars shine just as brightly. They pray and sing and prepare their hearts for Christ’s coming just like I do. They attempt, as I do, to find the meaning in the season, to repel the attempts by the culture to commercialize this sacred observance. They are generous in their forgiveness of my myopic North American biases, and they interpret the story in a way meaningful to them. …
All of us Christians around the world carry the same desire: to walk as children of the light, to follow Jesus as he leads us in a ministry of hope and love to the whole creation.
God of Darkness and Light, shine on the world and shine on me. Help me remember that no matter where I live, you send your gift of love to all people. Whether I see snow or sand, evergreen or palm trees, your presence speaks to me of hope for the world. In gratitude I pray for all the world and its people. Amen.
– Beth A. Richardson
Child of the Light
From pages 35-36 of Child of the Light: Walking Through Advent and Christmas by Beth A. Richardson. Copyright © 2005 by Beth A. Richardson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
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The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.
Isaiah 40:8, NRSV
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This week we remember: Dorothy Day (December 6).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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