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All Out of Darkness We Have Light

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
a light has dawned
on those living in the land of darkness.

Isaiah 9:2, CSB

This Christmas I particularly noticed the theme of “light shining in darkness” throughout the season. Our advent sermon series at church traced this theme from the beginning to end of time.

During our family Bible times we learned the Sussex carol. One of Stephen’s favorite lines is, “Then why should men on earth be so sad since our Redeemer made us glad.” The joy of Christmas is that Jesus Himself is that Light that conquers our deepest darkness.

Our Jesse tree ornaments and scripture readings not only lead us through Jesus’ family tree and the history of Israel, but they also walk through prophecies regarding the Messiah.

Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.

The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
a Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
a Spirit of counsel and strength,
a Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

His delight will be in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge
by what he sees with his eyes,
he will not execute justice
by what he hears with his ears,
but he will judge the poor righteously
and execute justice for the oppressed of the land.

He will strike the land
with a scepter from his mouth,
and he will kill the wicked
with a command from his lips.

Righteousness will be a belt around his hips;
faithfulness will be a belt around his waist.

The wolf will dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard will lie down with the goat.
The calf, the young lion, and the fattened calf will be together,
and a child will lead them.

The cow and the bear will graze,
their young ones will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like cattle.

An infant will play beside the cobra’s pit,
and a toddler will put his hand into a snake’s den.

They will not harm or destroy each other
on my entire holy mountain,
for the land will be as full
of the knowledge of the Lord
as the sea is filled with water.

On that day the root of Jesse
will stand as a banner for the peoples.
The nations will look to him for guidance,
and his resting place will be glorious.

Isaiah 11:1-10, CSB

Stephen and I were both able to help with the boys’ winter parties at school. Seeing Cooper’s class reminded me just how little 7 year-olds can be. I’ve been reminded to soak up his 7 year old cuddles and chats before they slip away.

The older boys had a mini piano recital at their teacher’s house with her other students. Silas played Good King Wenceslas, Deck the Halls, and Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and Cooper played The Perfect Christmas Tree and We Three Kings. I can’t wait for the spring recital when parents are invited!

The live tree we picked this year was so fragrant! Decorating night was hilarious since the boys took their job very seriously and Brynn was the self-appointed bell ringer. She practically ran a marathon of laps around our house ringing the bell as Silas and Cooper decked the tree.

Attending the Christmas Eve service–to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with my family in Christ–was life-giving. At one point all the children were invited to sit on stage for a special Christmas message just for them. At the close of the service, I looked over to see Stephen holding Brynn in the candle glow as we sang carols in the darkness. It’s these moments that I wish I could capture.

Christmas morning was chaotic in the best kind of way. Between stockings, presents from extended family and friends, and the presents we got the kids, our family room was filled full. We opened gifts and had our traditional Christmas brunch with our friends.

The rest of the day, I held a sick baby since Thatcher had bronchiolitis for his first Christmas.

Third great grandson to wear the Christmas outfit from Great Mom-mom Hilda

The kids dug into their new art projects, science experiments, Lego sets, and toys.

Cooper and his water rocket
Silas built his Lego Batman Tumbler–over 1800 pieces!
personalized afghan from Aunt Ruth Anna

All the Christmas snacks and treats made for an easy day of no cooking, and we did several video calls with our family.

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never close by day because it will never be night there. 

Revelation 21:23-25, CSB

Thank you, Jesus, for piercing our dark hearts with your light.

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