Festivals of Light
I’ve spent most of my life near or north of the 45°N parallel. Living in such climes, I’ve experienced my fair share of headlight guided trips to church and such. Thank God for homeschooling, which allows the kids and me to wait until dawn to arise; otherwise, we would need a house full of SAD lights! In some ways I even think the contrast between the incredible lengths of a near-polar summer’s day and the compensating winter gloom only make things harder.
So, as soon as time change dictates (although I feel better rested by natural light), supper is eaten by artificial light—and, I long for Christmas lights. If I have to drive around in the chilly blackness, at least let me see some twinkling cheer!
I don’t even mind the habit of American stores to nearly bury Thanksgiving in Christmas displays because I delight in the sparkle and brightness of red and green. The last remnants of Autumn where I live are dull and usually don’t even provide enough snow to mask the drab shades of lifelessness. Christmas breaks into that monotony and sings to me of joy and vigor.
All of these sentiments I come by through long familial inheritance. Decades ago my grandfather even strongly argued for his fellow missionaries to encourage the celebration of Christmas because the newly converted Indians had just lost all of their Hindu festivals of color and light. As part of this tradition, I share with my kids the wonder of Christ’s incarnation as we decorate with cheerful lights and colors, inevitably adding some science as we experience what happens when you have a series circuit and one light bulb blows.
Whether it’s Chanukah, a simple Advent based season, or a full-blown “Lights, Cookies, Presents!” production, it’s the color, cheerful music, and brightness I most enjoy.
Of the few things we are told about the Eternal State of God’s people in Revelation, he spends a lot of real estate showing us the brilliantly colored jewels the City will be founded on. He also tells us there will never be night there because Jesus himself is the light filling the realm with brightness. This time of year helps me experience the need and the hope God captured in promise for us.
I was made for light, and I have found Him. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Cheri Fields is a 2nd generation homeschooler involved in learning and teaching at home since 1982. She currently teaches her seven kids in Michigan and has found ways to include them in the online ministry God has called her to, particularly as cohosts for their family’s podcast. You can find her at https://creationscience4kids.com. She is a member of the International Association of Creation and a graduate of the Institute for Children’s Literature.