The note comes home from school. “Thought you’d want to know.”
I’m shocked. Crimes and misdemeanors from this small fellow who’s usually happy, kind, conscientious? A bundle of sunbeams packaged up in blue jeans? A cheerful little cricket? Who chirps far too cheerfully in the mornings as he prepares for school, causing his mother to bury her head beneath her pillow? That one?
Even Big Brother’s astonished. “It doesn’t sound like him.”
I know. It doesn’t.
We talk about it. “Daddy will take care of it when he gets home, buster. We simply can’t treat others that way.” His face falls to his shoes. This is not good; not good at all.
“Get your snack,” I say to him, stern. “Then you’re going for a nap.” It’s his first day back at school after the long holiday weekend. I know he’s tired, and fatigue never did help a kid’s behavior.
I’m typing away at my desk. Here he comes, small felon stalking past. Suddenly, he’s a self-tucker, eager to avoid Mama’s gaze. He’s putting himself to bed. Looking at him, I say it again, “I can’t believe you did that.” And almost laugh out loud at his reply.
“You’re still upset about that?” This, as he moves purposefully toward his room. What he doesn’t say, but what I hear is, “I thought that was in the past. Old business. Old news. I’m moving on.”
I give him the Mommy Look as he disappears into his room and closes the door. Daddy, I know, will have a few words of instruction for The Cricket when he gets home from work.
Downstairs, the tree’s aglow with lights. Ornaments, hung by big and little hands, adorn its branches. Together, they bear witness to the Life that came to conquer death. To the Light that shines, piercing the dark. To the Babe Who lived and died and rose again, birthing hope.
Overhead, my own babe is sleeping. He who once played the Christ Child in a Christmas pageant, pointing hearts to Him, has given the gift He most desires – his heart. And in the giving, has received the gift of greatest price – eternal life.
This day, we’ll lead our boy back to the cross. Back to the Living Christ. There, he will pray his prayer of repentance, receiving Christ’s forgiveness, rising again to walk in victory. Sin forgiven. Righteousness restored. Heart washed clean.
And aren’t we all felons of one sort or other? Breaking His laws. Taking our way. Shouting the ‘no.’
Christmas in a nutshell–the Babe. The cross. Sin conquered. Hope restored. Joyous Noel for sinners all!
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill to man.”