I feel so blessed to have friends who every now and then share those priceless conversations between them and their children– the ones that linger with them, make them smile, stretch their imaginations, force them to articulate what they believe and helps them see life in a new way. I love it, and I love how much they love those moments & the kids who give birth to them.

A week or two ago, a friend shared how her daughter asked, “Mom, why do people put up all these lights?” as they rode down their neighborhood street laced with lights, one or two homes pretty out of control and full of some outrageous fun creative spirit.

My friend responded by telling her how lights are a reminder of the baby Jesus, who is the Light of the World. Her daughter sat there for a few seconds, pondering the words & sights and said, “Really?!?”

I love it!

One of my favorite traditions is riding through the neighborhoods of Nashville with my sister looking at the lights of the season. We usually go out on a hunt Christmas Eve or Christmas night to find the house with the most obnoxious light display possible, and usually at some point on the journey pass one or two homes that light up our hearts and remind us of the absolute delight of the season– the joy, the wonder, warmth and beauty light brings to a dark Tennessee night.

There have been plenty of moments this Advent I have found myself echoing the words of my friend’s daughter, “Really?!?” There have been some puzzling moments to be sure.

But every now and then, like a mother whose heart is full of childlike wonder and holy imagination in conversation with her small child, moments creep up on me and speak in ways that help me to re-imagine it all. I begin to see Light in some of the craziest of places in the most ordinary of moments, and I breathe deeply, smile and say, “It’s Christmas!”

We await your coming, Lord, with eagerness and thanksgiving and a fair amount of fear. Shine your true light in the corners of our hearts and in the vast wastelands of our society that we might see more clearly the glory of the creation you have come to redeem. Amen.

Common Prayer: Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals