Eastertide in Atrium 1 is the season in which we think further about the great events of the Resurrection. We consider how we welcomed Easter at the service of the Great Vigil, and how the Paschal Candle that now graces our church was lit and brought forward to shine all these days. We think further about Jesus’ words we’ve discussed throughout the year: “I am the Light of the World.”
Yesterday all the children were very busy with lessons and individual work. Some “built” Jerusalem, others worked out the names and locations of the cities and regions of the land of Israel, and still others listened again to what happened in the Upper Room. I spent the morning talking with children about the gifts of Baptism. We considered carefully what the priest says and does with the water, the candles, and the chrism. What does it mean to say, “Receive the Light of Christ?”
One child and I pondered how all the little lights of the baptized people come from the Paschal Candle. If the candles went out, would the Light be gone? How could this light be shared by so many? He revealed some of his thinking when he looked at the Paschal Candle and said, “Oh, I get it. This is God’s Light.”
But it was only while I was ironing a shirt this morning as I headed out the door that I realized once again the children had led us further in our contemplations. When I ‘d asked some of the older children to choose a book to read at the morning’s end, they laid We Three Kings [i] on the prayer table. I’ve always been intrigued that children connect Easter to Christmas, but this was a new twist: the Magi?
The book lays out the verses of the hymn with beautiful illustrations. And when we came to the page of the chorus, I heard the words again for the first time: O Star of wonder, Star of Light, Star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding: Guide us to Thy Perfect …
Now as I write these words on the morning commute, I can lift my eyes to glimpse the marsh and think back on these things. I think about the Magi coming to visit the Holy Family, and their gifts. That makes me think about the women who came to visit Jesus at the Tomb, and what they brought. Did they bring myrrh? What did they find? I can think about the many ways the Light of God is revealed to those with eyes to see. And I give thanks again for the gift of children and how they really do lead us.
[i] Spirin, Gennadii. We Three Kings. New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, ©2007.