Advent Devotions 2020

It All Started with a Candle

Posted by Amamnda Aubrey on

When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice  hospitality. -Romans 12:13, NLT

When I was a kid, we would put up our Christmas tree, outside Christmas lights, and various other home decorations beginning on the day after Thanksgiving. How elaborate the outdoor display was depended largely on the weather that day – the better the weather, the more likely I was able to really put my back into lighting up our house.  My sister and I usually had lights in our rooms, along with special decorations that were  sentimental for us, and as I got older, my room was more and more elaborately lit, too. 

My mom – the Spirit of Christmas personified – was happy to have two daughters who were just as invested in getting our Christmas on, so to speak, as she was, but to my  consternation, she rarely lit her room with anything more than a single candle in the  window. When I asked her about it, she explained that having a candle in the window was more than just a holiday tradition, and in fact, was a much older symbol. In Ireland, my mom said, having a candle in one’s window was a signal to weary travelers that they would find welcome and hospitality in that home. Anyone who ever knew Mom knows she never turned away anyone who came to her door, and that was especially true at the holidays.  She was famous for cooking a 25-lb turkey every year because she wanted to make sure there was enough, “just in case” for anyone who appeared in our doorway. 

For me, Christmas lights are a symbol of welcome, hospitality, and generosity, three  characteristics that Mom modeled for us right up to her very last day in this world. I’ll  admit we put up our outside lights a little bit early this year, and the display is much more  extravagant than when I was younger, but for me, it all stems from a humble candle in the window, quietly pronouncing that ours is a home of welcome and hospitality for anyone  in need. Our doors and our hearts are open. And in these times, especially after the year we have all endured together, that is worth celebrating. 



to leave comment