Thursday (December 16, 2021)
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
Someone asked me at the beginning of Advent, “How much of Christmas does Eliza understand?” It’s a tough question because Eliza can’t answer the question herself. At this moment her vocabulary consists of yes, no, mama, dada, Connie (our dog’s name), various farm and jungle animal sounds, and the incoherent ramblings of someone who just ate maple syrup for the first time that morning.
It’s not like we haven’t tried. We compiled a stack of all of the Christmas children’s books we have in our house. A popup book about Santa finding Rudolph, the 12 Days of Christmas, one about frosty, Little Blue Truck’s Christmas, and a couple that tell the Bible story of Christmas in fun and colorful ways. She loves these books, but I think she is more interested in mooing at the cow in the stall next to baby Jesus in the picture book of the nativity than she is at grasping the world changing significance of the incarnate God lying in the manger.
The closest I think we have come to explaining Christmas to Eliza actually came from her experience with our Christmas tree. Kendra and I bought our Christmas tree, brought it into our house, and decorated it with ornaments and lights all while Eliza slept. The next morning when she awoke we picked her up out of her crib and took her into the living room. She saw the tree and kept repeating one word, “Wow.” Wow, wow, wow, wow. The lights, the shininess of the ornaments, the living breathing thing that was all of a sudden a part of her house.
She didn’t know what it was, but even this little tiny human knew that something special had happened. We didn’t have to say anything, but she knew greatness was in front of her. And one day she will know that this greatness which was written on her heart was all because of the birth of Jesus.
Let us pray: From the least to the greatest of us, you, O Lord, write wonder and knowledge of you on our hearts. Let us be open to the wonderful ways, and sometimes with childlike wonder that you come to us each and every Christmas.
Peace in Christ,
Pr. Daniel Joyner Miller