by Ryan Martin
Micah jumped off his dad’s lap, his fluffy slippers padding across the soft carpet to the Christmas tree. He reached for the red velvet box under the lowest boughs of the tree, right next to the manger scene. Micah’s dad laid aside the Bible he’d been reading to his son, just as his wife set steaming cinnamon buns on the table.
This was Micah’s favorite night of the year. He loved hearing his dad read the Christmas story, the smell of mom’s baking, carols playing softly, and this...
He slid the velvet box to the center of the table’s smooth surface. His mother gently lifted the lid, revealing an ornate silver candlestick. Years old, it still shone in the dimly lighted room.
Micah’s eyes sparkled as his dad took the first candle and firmly placed it in the farthest limb of the heirloom candlestick.
“Jesus,” he prayed, “thank you for being the Light of the world.” The first candle flickered to life as Micah’s father read, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great Light, and upon those who sat in the shadow of death, Light has dawned!”
Micah remembered a description of Jesus his dad read to him from Revelation. “Clothed with a garment down to His feet and girded about the chest with a golden band, His head and hair were white...as snow, and His eyes were as a flame of fire. His voice was as the sound of many waters, and His countenance was as the sun shining in its strength.”
Micah could almost see Him creating Adam and Eve. Bright light enveloped them as He breathed into their souls the breath of His life. Micah imagined them walking with the Light of the world in the magnificent garden, being face to face with the King of Creation.
But then, Micah winced at what he remembered next. The serpent lied to Eve, “You won’t die!” And with one act of disobedience, sin entered their perfect world wrecking their innocence and joy. When the Light of the world came to walk with them, sorrow covered His face. He cried, “Adam, where are you, Son?” Though Adam emerged naked and ashamed in his sin, the Son of Man promised that He would break the power of darkness that now held His children captive. From the foundation of the world, the print of nails already pierced His hands.
As his father lit the second candle, Micah whispered reverently. “Thank you, Jesus, for being the Lamb of God, taking on Yourself the sins of the whole world.” His mom read this time. “He made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin.” Then turning to Isaiah, “Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows...He was wounded for our transgressions and with His stripes we are healed.”
The next candle glowed with dazzling radiance. “Jesus, thank you for being our sal- vation.” Micah read with some difficulty the passage before him. “She shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS [God is Salvation] for He shall save His people from their sins.’”
Micah smiled as his dad gently guided his hand and together they lit the fourth candle. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.” “Who is the Word that came down from heaven, son?” his mom asked. “Jesus!” he declared proudly, and she quoted Jesus’ words in John chapter six. “I am the Living Bread which came down from heaven, if any man eat of this bread, He shall live forever.”
Another candle sparked to life as his mother spoke. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth.” The Word equal with God in the beginning, the Word by whom all things are created, lived as a humble man. Perfect, sinless, favored by God and man, He healed the sick, the hurting and the blind. Opening their eyes, he looked into the hearts of men with love and compassion.
The people gasped in amazement when the Word, as flesh, stood in the synagogue reading the words of Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind.”
His word was with Power! This same Word forgives, transforms and brings hope.
“Lord,” Micah’s dad prayed, lighting the sixth candle. “Thy throne is for ever and ever! A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy kingdom. You laid the foundation of the earth. The heavens are the work of Your hands. They shall perish; but You shall remain; they shall grow old like a garment; and as a vesture You will fold them up, and they shall be changed: but Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail!”
“Micah?” He slowly opened his eyes.
“Yeah, mom?” She held the last candle out to him.
His dad read the Scripture just right. “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God!”
Seven candles burned brightly as Micah and his family sipped hot chocolate and sampled their favorite Christmas Eve snacks. Before slipping off to bed, he sat in front of the tree for one last look at the manger. Only the soft light glimmering in the branches illuminated his teary eyes as he studied the tiny figure in the straw. “Jesus,” he spoke quietly. “I am so glad you came! I can’t wait ‘til you come again.”