Annie Peterson | Civil Patriot

Rejoice in the spirit of Christmas which is Peace, the miracle of Christmas which is Hope, and the heart of Christmas which is Love.

This morning I attended our church’s annual Christmas service. The music was fabulous, as always. The joy of the season was evident in the faces of all in attendance, in spite of all of the chaos swirling around us over the past several months. For those few brief moments, as I sat in my pew and listened to the music and the resounding message of hope, everything else faded away—the fears of 2020. The worries. The pain. It drifted away on a wind of hope as the joy of Christmas hovered around me like an angelic song. 

Then came that one special moment: the same one that gets to me every year. All of the church’s youngest children appeared on the stage, ready to act out the nativity scene. Dressed in adorable costumes, I witnessed Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, Wiseman, and lots of little ones dressed up as angels and barnyard animals. 

As the singers sang Oh Holy Night, the manger scene came alive, filling the stage. And I did what I always do: I wept. I wept because of the power of the message, of course. But I also cried because those precious, innocent children represented all that is good and holy and right with this world, not just at Christmastime, but year-round. And it feels especially true in 2020, when we’ve suffered so much. 

We can become so pessimistic. We can become so hyper-focused on the news. The election. The deception. The emotions surrounding COVID. Anger over lockdowns. Fears over businesses shut down. Financial despair. Sometimes we forget to have the innocence of a child. We lose sight of the hope that Christmas can bring. 

This Christmas, turn your eyes to the children. May every sacrifice you’ve experienced in 2020 be seen in light of the hope you find in their eyes. Children have faith to believe for the impossible. You can see joy twinkling in their eyes, and not just at Christmas time. They’re brimming over with optimism and they’re ready to experience every bit of magic that the Christmas season offers. Yes, even now. . .in 2020. 

Children remind us that life goes on, no matter how difficult things get. Yes, we have faced challenges in 2020. Many seemed overwhelming. But when we view them with the eyes of a child, our hearts are flooded with hope for tomorrow.

Children are our inheritance. They are our legacy. They are the gift that we give to the world—a gift that will keep giving long after we’re gone from this life. This is the best possible year to give them the finest Christmas season ever. And don’t limit that offering to presents wrapped in ribbons and bows. Give them your time, your attention, your love, and most of all, hope. They will repay you with love so precious it will give you courage to face 2021 with a renewed sense of fearless expectation. 

A child’s eyes, those clear, wells of undefiled thought – what on earth can be more beautiful? Full of hope, love and curiosity, they meet your own. In prayer, how earnest; in joy, how sparkling; in sympathy, how tender! The man who never tried the companionship of a little child has carelessly passed by one of the great pleasures of life, as one passes a rare flower without plucking it or knowing its value
Caroline Norton


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