Next to the tree was the record player with the sliding doors and behind it, the tiled mirrored wall multiplied the lights of the tree. I have more visual memories in this room, because the mirror helped the memories stick in my brain like photographs. I remember being danced to sleep in this room by my Dad and my older siblings. I remember the horn arrangements and the mournful melodies of the Elvis Christmas album, Gene Autrey, and Johnny Cash‘s speak-singing, “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day.”
There was music, there was feasting, there were gifts, but the presence guiding our togetherness was the light. Like the light of the star over the manger in Bethlehem, in my early memories of Christmas, the light is the one steady, sacred centerpiece. The light of God shines into the shadows of our hearts, with ever-increasing brightness. He shows his glory in it, as if filtered through the fingers of his hand. The invitation of his light is quiet and transformative and holy. In his light by which we see the faces of the people we love. In his light, we remember who we are. In this light, we are guided into new places and out of the shadows of the old ways. In the screens and commercialism of the season, I want to keep my eyes open to the true light. May God’s light press in on us in the dark nights of winter, pressing us onward, toward the coming spring.
About Sandra McCracken | As a singer/songwriter, McCracken has penned songs for Caedmon’s Call (on albums In The Company Of Angels, Back Home, and Overdressed) as well as for Derek Webb’s solo release, She Must And Shall Go Free and recorded eight albums of her own (in addition to contributing to many others). Her latest project, God’s Highway (buy), released Sep. 9, 2016.
GIVE! | Check out the 2016 Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide