Throughout the season of Advent, I’ve been conscious of ways in which I tell the Christmas story to my soon-to-be two-year-old son, Henry. Along with the anticipation of presents, frosted cookies, and time at Grandparents’ homes, I’ve attempted to share the story about that which we are watching and waiting: the birth of a baby, Jesus, into the world.
With the lighting of an Advent candle each evening, Henry eagerly points to the Christ candle, and exclaims, “Jesus be born!” Yes, Henry, we are waiting for Jesus to be born, again, and again, and again.
Several nights ago, on the eve of the darkest day of the year, while reading our bedtime story, Henry stopped me, fixed on the word “peace” that I had just read aloud.
“Peace!” he replied, eyes beaming. “Jesus bring peace! Jesus bring hope!” I looked at him and smiled, surprised that he recalled the story we’d been telling over the past few weeks. “And what else?” I asked him. He paused, looked at me, eyes beaming, and whispered, “Jesus bring love.”
In his words I heard a child’s prayer: Jesus, bring hope. Jesus, bring peace. Jesus, bring love. In his words I also heard a child’s reassurance: Jesus brings hope. Jesus brings peace. Jesus brings love.
As I reflect on Henry’s words in light of our lives at Camp Friedenswald, I am grateful for the ways in which experiences and time at Camp are a source of hope for many who come; I am grateful for the well of peace that is drawn upon by many who pass through these woods; and I am grateful for the ways that Camp Friedenswald, the peaceful woods, can bear wittiness to the love of Jesus through community and through nature.
As we celebrate the coming of Christ again, may you catch glimpses of the hope, peace, and love that Jesus brings.