Innocence at Christmas

From Rev. Erik Buss, Assistant to the Pastor
December 5, 2017

This is Tableaux week. For many the highlight is when we are able to walk up to the manger and to see the baby Lord lying there. How many have wanted to linger to appreciate that beautiful touch of heaven? I love watching the children in the tableaux. They may not hold their poses as gracefully as some adults, but their innocence is a touch of heaven for me.

One of the gifts of celebrating Christmas is that we make time for innocence. Much of daily life doesn’t seem to welcome it, but for a time we stop and appreciate with wonder what the Lord has done and is doing for us. I feel that particularly when the scenes in the Tableaux freeze and we’re asked to just notice the wonder of the moment, such as when the wise men offer their gifts to the baby Lord.

The Lord says such powerful things about innocence. Consider these teachings from Heaven and Hell as they apply to the Christmas story:

It is in innocence that heaven is stored up in a person. (276)

Angels want to be guided by the Lord, and not by themselves… They live content with what they have, whether it is little or much, because they know that the amount they receive is what is right for them…. They do not actually know what is right for them, only the Lord does, and in His sight everything He provides has an eternal value. (278)

Angels do not worry about the future either, which for them means being anxious about tomorrow, and they say this only brings grief, because it is worrying about the loss of things that are not necessary for leading useful lives. (278:2)

Innocence attributes nothing of goodness to itself, but ascribes everything good to the Lord, and hence loves to be guided by the Lord. (278:2)

Because innocence is at the heart of everything good belonging to heaven, it has such an effect on the mind that people experiencing it, which happens when an angel from the inmost heaven approaches, have the feeling of being no longer in control of themselves, and that therefore they feel they are being overcome and carried away, so to speak, by such a feeling of delight that all the delight of the world seems nothing in comparison with it. (282)

May your Christmas celebrations be filled with innocence and wonder.

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