One of the lessons that Ebenezer Scrooge learned as a result of revisiting his life with the Ghost of Christmas Past was that running from the hurt of his formative years would never extinguish his own pain. Scrooge’s pursuit of isolation only propelled him into a deeper state of darkness, one that denied love and left him a bitter man who cared only for the needs of himself. The gift of love that was given to us through the birth of Christ was always a part of who Ebenezer was; he simply chose for too long not to reignite it in his own life.
Ebenezer was fortunate to have three ghosts guiding him through an examination of his past, present, and future. This is not our story. But, the story of a faithful Christian community that is filled with prayers, celebrations, and acts of service during the Advent Season in our schools, can rub off on each of us the very same way.
A point of certainty that has come to my own life is that the joy of Christmas and the acceptance of God’s gift of love in our lives becomes stronger when we witness its spirit and undertake to share in it with others. Life can be challenging at this time of year for people because of past hurts and losses in their lives. However, the starting point of overcoming this is when we become open to lighting the God given candle abiding within each one of us. This is the source of love that illuminates from us when we commit ourselves to better one broken or new relationship in our lives.
Kelly Truccoli wrote a beautiful song that is not considered a Christmas song, but I think that it reflects the meaning of the season particularly well. In “Go Light a Candle,” each member of the human family is reminded to hold out your candle for all to see it …. Take your candle, and go light your world.
The sentiment of this song becomes realized on a daily basis within our schools through 6000 student candles, and 600 staff candles representing an illumination of God’s love for the world that is far more meaningful and influential than any award winning Christmas display. The efforts of our learning communities to be Christ for others in and outside of their classrooms furthers the proof that love brings hope and joy to the entire human family and illuminates spaces of darkness that would otherwise remain unchanged if not for such generous acts of service.
Christmas annually reveals the destiny of love that God left us through Jesus becoming a gift to our world. Thank you to the work of parents, staff, and students across our 17 school communities for illuminating this message so clearly this past Advent and throughout the school year.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone! Blessings to all as you continue to faithfully and joyfully go light your world!
Superintendent of Schools