Last week I had the opportunity to talk to some of the children about the New Year and what they thought it would bring. In each one of them I could see all of the candles of Advent burning brightly. There was “Hope” that the New Year would bring good things for them. They anticipate that they will have the opportunity to “do something fun, to be creative, to show kindness, to forgive themselves and others, and to strive for and attain their goals.” There was so much hope that it filled the room. There was “Joy” that the New Year was upon us. That 2015 was going to be their “Best Year Ever!” That they were excited and happy about a future that held both expected and unexpected surprises. There was “Love.” One child said it best when he said, “I love my family, my friends, and God, and they love me too… it’s just that simple!” This statement struck me as funny because it is just that simple, something adults often forget. Despite our humanness, our faults and our baggage, we are loved. There was “Peace.” When you ask kids about Peace they tend to think globally. One child suggested that perhaps this comes from the Christmas Carol I Heard the bells on Christmas Day, whose lyrics, “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men” (somewhat) mimic the Bible verse, Luke 2:14. We did talk about a global sense of peace, which is very important, but then I directed the conversation toward what it meant to have a sense of “inner peace.” “Feeling relaxed, feeling calm, feeling comfort, feeling free,” were some of the responses. We talked about how inner peace comes from growing and nurturing our spirit. This brought us full circle to the “Christ” candle, and the celebration of the Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace that Jesus brings into our lives each and every day. May you live Advent, as so many of our children do, throughout 2015.
Happy New Year!