If there was a child in church on Christmas Eve, then there is probably a good story to tell. Here’s ours.
The Scriptures had been read. Most of the carols had been sung. The sermon was over. Now, three were singing an anthem – Breath of Heaven – and Edward’s mom had the lead. His dad was one of the harmony voices. As the song came to its end, we heard what sounded like very small hands clapping. Then, others joined in. “This,” commented one of the attendees at the service, “was the highlight of the evening.”
Many will say that the presence of little children has a profound effect on what Christmas feels like. It certainly makes a difference in terms of what Christmas looks like around a house.
When he began to clap, others couldn’t help but clap. They were clapping as much with the little boy as they were for the singers. And so, once again, a child rearranged the focus, shifted the emphasis, changed everything.
“Unless you become like little children …” So says Jesus (Matthew 18:3).
In this particular case, the little child emanates joy, pride; perhaps the best word would be “glee”.
There is a glitch, however. Not everyone saw what had happened. The clapping didn’t result in overwhelming applause. From where I sat, I couldn’t see the child. I only learned after the fact that he had been the one to inspire and incite others to clap.
It is possible, isn’t it, to be present and still miss the moment?
Christmas can be like that. It can be that way with Christ. Keep on the lookout for blessings today. And when you don’t recognize them directly, don’t hesitate to enjoy them vicariously.
A blessed Thursday.
(You can follow Edward’s exploits – and other family adventures – on Edward’s dad’s blog – tenordad.)