Protecting the things God created means, like a child, we never tire of hoping.
Saturday, December 17, 2022
“Pitfalls he must find on that journey, blind paths perhaps, but through it all the philosophy of belief in the essential goodness, the actual significance of things created, the state of being, ‘in love with life.”– Frances Chesterton, The Wit and Wisdom of G.K. Chesterton
Christmas was a very important season to Frances. It was her personal hopes that guided her on her own journey toward Christ through the Advent time. Her hopes as a Christian for the return of Christ and her personal hopes that she might be blessed with a child of her own were very connected. But it was this hope unfulfilled that shaped her own recognition of the “actual significance of things” created meant by God in our lives. She did something very important with that hope – she let it shine out like a light, always brightly, like a child who never tires of hoping.
I have a string of multi-colored Christmas lights, what is left of better years, lining a portion of the deck around my house. Its the only light for miles down my road every Advent and Christmas season. But I never tire of the wonder it produces in me. And I hope the same happens for those who pass by on this lonely dark road during the Advent and Christmas seasons. Christmas lights in the darkness are recalling the wonder of childhood and the same old ways and places we never tired of – the sun, the moon, the stars, the day to look forward to with excitement, the night to snuggle safely in bed. The wonderful old things God created not the relentless, never ending inventions of man.
This is the point that Christ makes when He says that we must be like a little child to enter into the Kingdom, to be born again. They aren’t just words. They mean to regain the wonder, trust and obedience of a child again. A child who is at that age where he is never bored with the same things, where you hear him say: ‘Do it again!”. He wants the same stories told again and again. He wants you to play the same games with him. They delight him the same as the first time, each time he plays them.
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
― G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
The old days had our houses lining the streets with the same lights, some with a few more gables and windows and rooves covered than others, but pretty much the same as everyone else. Delightfully the same. Each house with the same smiling lit up face as the others, like the iconic scene above from the film “While You Were Sleeping“.
The old lights continue to shine out with the old hope for everyone who sees them. They remind us of “how things used to be.” The significance of all the old simple but wonderful constructs of God – of sun and moon, day and night, warm homes and hot meals and mothers and fathers and families and a God who loves us and watches over us. The simple wish of a person with a child-like heart filled with wonder that light has come into this world by means of Christ!
Our Advent Prayer
Heavenly father, I come before you today in need of hope.
There are times when I feel helpless,
There are times when I feel weak.
I pray for hope.
I need hope for a better future.
I need hope for a better life.
I need hope for love and kindness.
Some say that the sky is at it’s
darkest just before the light.
I pray that this is true, for all seems dark.
I need your light, Lord, in every way.
I pray to be filled with your light from
head to toe. To bask in your glory.
To know that all is right in the world,
as you have planned, and as you want
it to be.
Help me to walk in your light, and live
my life in faith and glory.
In your name I pray, Amen.
Beloved, Advent and Christmas remind us that no matter what, the old hopes of childhood are always there in everything that God has created. And, look, these are good.