02 Dec Message from The Head of School, December 3, 2020
The Privilege of Christmas
At our house we think of Christmas as many things: a season, a break, a pause, a time for family and exchanging gifts. The world – largely unable to put its finger on why this particular religious holiday is so compelling – calls it a magical time, a time of wonder and delight. I don’t disagree. But this year, at the end of this bizarrely challenging year, I have come to see Christmas as a privilege – a divinely gracious and universally offered privilege.
The fourth grade is reading a daily advent passage of the Scriptures each day of December, and December first was my day to read. We read John 1:1-5, 14. In this passage we hear things like, “In the beginning was the Word” and “through Him all things were made” and “In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.”
Verse 14 in full is: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” When you and I take a beat to quiet ourselves and truly contemplate the enormity of this gift, we recognize the privilege it is to call ourselves His, especially at Christmas.
The fourth graders and I had a wonderful discussion about what we can tell from this passage about the character of God. They came up with some wonderful attributes – generous, loving, truth-teller. Then our discussion, as discussions do with fourth graders, took a series of interesting turns and we talked a little about how if the room is lit up, you wouldn’t notice a little patch of darkness, but if the room is dark, you would immediately notice if someone lit a match. Darkness does not overcome light. Light overcomes darkness. That’s the way of God. It was a Christmas privilege to talk with these students.
Working with and among children as we do at The Covenant School gives us particular insight into the brilliance of God’s using children as a metaphor for the kind of faith He calls us to have. “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-3). Children trust. They get lost in their delight. They are teachable. And what’s more God sent His Son – who possessed the infinite power of the Almighty – to us as a child. At Christmas. What a privilege it is to know this and to celebrate it with your children.
I hope you find yourself at home more this year than in previous years, choosing online shopping and meals around the table. But the more compelling reason to choose home is that you may create some small semblance of quiet here and there, that you may consider this idea of Christmas as a privilege. Let the idea roll around in your head and heart as a child would, not being quick to land on an answer or a conclusion, but simply savoring the idea.
We count it a privilege to celebrate Christmas with you this month. We know it feels distant, and we miss visiting with you on campus, but we are connected to you through your children and through our prayers for you and yours for us. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to keeping our school open and for your support and encouragement – it means more than you know.
Christmas blessing on each of you,