It was dark, but the air was still warm. We stood downtown, waiting in line to rent our skates and move around the square’s ice rink. To my right stood the Christmas tree, lit colorfully and topped with a star. To my left people were gliding across the ice. Beside and behind me were my sisters and a new friend. All around me echoed these words, old and powerful and full of beauty:

silent night, holy night
Son of God, Love’s Pure Light

Tears filled my eyes and I allowed myself to have a moment to take those words to heart. All of those elements of atmosphere combined moved me. I’ve always loved the Christmas season- a time of beauty and peace; of glimmering lights and hymns of old; a time of reflection, of remembering Emmanuel – God with us – and how He has been Emmanuel to us. It’s a time when I feel like I can see the world and myself more as it should be, even while looking at how far from that the world is- how far from it I am.

radiant beams from thy holy face
with the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth

Jesus Lord, at thy birth  

It’s moments like these I can sense it- the swirls of divine romance, of grace and hope and light.

And that is why this is the most wonderful time of the year- because I am Emmanuel’s and He is with me.