Light Has Come


In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.


And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Each December Christians imitate the Incarnation in a way--we take our part in the play, rich with its present characters and actors of Old.  We replay it over and over again throughout the year, but especially at Christmastime.  True, our re-telling is meager in comparison to the real thing, but still we intentionally revel in the glory of this story.

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

On Christmas Eve I am often ushered to my uttermost, spiritually speaking.  When that sanctuary goes dark and the one candle remains lit, I stand with my brothers and sisters in Christ (around the world!) with delight, confidence, and joy in my heart.  We stand with our lighted candles, as happy rebels disregarding the accusation of fools: that this is all a fairy tale. No, no, this is us declaring with all that we are: God is light!  In Him there is no darkness at all!

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it..."

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

The battle between good and evil began in the beginning.  Though Yahweh "laid His glory by" as the mild Babe in the manger, do not be mistaken, The Lord of Hosts has just made His opening move.



The prophets pointed to a Redeemer, creation has always cried out concerning Him, and even truly wise men then and now submit their science and their reasons to Him.  And here we stand, now Christmastime.  Forgive us, but with lighted faces having beheld Him come, we are basking in His glory.  Year after year.  It never grows old.

Christ, by highest heav'n adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold him come,
offspring of the Virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
hail th'incarnate Deity,
pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.


As the kids grow and time flies, I have less to say out loud and much to ponder in my heart. Everyone is doing fine.  Schooling is going, boys are boys, the girl is ornery, but sweet.  We are excited for a Redeemer PCA church plant in Lee's Summit.  Luke's health is better (praise God!), and I have a house (woot, woot!).  This is not a perfect operation, by any means.  It's humbling and hard.  Yet we are finding joy in each and every trial and triumph.


The house project is underway. Small steps, with a long view in mind constantly, but we are excited about the year to come. Current projects include the basement set up--clean rafters and floors, custom (built-by-Luke) shelving, tool storage, workshop, etc.-- installing driveway culverts, and a kitchen remodel (early stages of this). We hope to demo the current kitchen on New Year's Day! This property is the highlight of 2018 for sure. We know it's going to be a tough job, but from where we are standing (aside from our wedding day and babies born, lol) it's the best thing that has happened in our life together. It's God's provision and a fulfillment of a decade of saving and waiting. We are grateful!


Luke is still at Empower Retirement, having advanced in his career as a retirement plan specialist. We long for more satisfaction in daily business, but work is a gift from God and so we are grateful.


His love of theology remains, the game of chess still wins, and he reads to me and the children whenever he is home.  He apparently can build a deck like a boss.  Luke is funny, sincere, and faithful.  That's all one needs.


Greyson, 9 years old, is a reader, builder, and a pianist.  He is charming, physically affectionate, and quick witted. He can sing out a chorus, too.  This year in particular he enjoyed baseball, our trip to FL, and hand bells at church.


Benjamin, 5, is our peacemaker.  He is tender-hearted and wears his emotions on his face.  He is learning to read this year and write cursive like the big boy. His favorite book is Hop on Pop.


Anna Rebekah, 3, is precocious and smart.  She *thinks* she is reading already.  She loves to be next to me on her new stool in the kitchen.  She is a sweet artist and loves to listen to Daddy read.  We are daily on our toes with her, but she still is my "favorite girl."  I'm blessed to be her Mama.



I am still learning contentment (will that ever not be?) but have found a blessed rest in God who has made me and a peace about all that He has given in this life. I am convinced His word is truth. I am also convinced patience is the way to secret things, glorious things. This year I've continued to love the Hillcrest ministry, hiking with Wild & Free KC, crafting with the kids, reading, and a couple of entrepreneurial projects on the side.


I enjoy my husband and children more and more each year and am committed to creating a life at home that ministers to my people for generations to come. I am grateful to Luke for his hard work in all jobs.  We both look forward to a bit slower pace on the farm, with less pulling us away from each other and the kids.  


I hope this doesn't all sound rosy. 2018 was exciting and fun with that house and all, but life is difficult. We still labor and are pained with struggles. We are constantly brought to our knees praying for forgiveness and help with little hearts (and big ones). Pray for us.


Hail, the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
ris'n with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that man no more may die,
born to raise the sons of earth,
born to give them second birth.

So, about that Light.  I know every human heart battles darkness.  Without Christ is it bleak, scary even.  Even if a man refuses to submit to truth, his personal darkness will eventually fell him like a dead tree in a winter storm.  It will catch up when he cannot fix the guilt and pain of life, injustice on earth, the burden of sin (can't seem to obey his own moral law), and death itself.  Yet.

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

Back to that sanctuary on Christmas Eve.  I long for those in my family: myself, my husband, children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends...all of us to experience that moment again and again when all darkness is overwhelmed by light.  As eternity shines in our hearts through faith, the long-awaited light of Christ pushes out all fear, doubt, sickness, and depression.  I long for all of our faces to reflect the light of Christ Jesus--with a hope and peace that cannot be found in anything here on earth.  Not even in each other, not in the stuff of this world.  This peace is found only when darkness is overwhelmed, sin is paid for in full, and death is defeated.

"For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will be their light; and they shall reign forever and ever."

Do you see it?  No need for candles or for lamps.  The glory of the Lord will be our light!  The light that shines right now around his throne is enough to pierce even the toughest night.  The darkest heart.


This is our story.  Redemption. Hope.

On down from heaven comes a mighty rushing wind, the beating of angels' wings brings with it glory (light), peace on earth, and good will toward men.


Merry Christmas, everyone.







Comments

  1. Oh Leslie. Please don't ever stop writing. So inspirational. My heart weeps with joy.
    Come 2019, bring it on!!!

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