Skip to content

Finding Harmony in Advent: Day 5

December 5, 2013


Huzzah! A King is Born

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” Matthew 2: 1-2

Ever since our daughter, as a freshman at the College of William and Mary in Colonial Williamsburg, Va., first experienced the “Grand Illumination” (first weekend in December every year) she wanted us to come. (For more details on the celebrations and great photos, visit this blogger.)

Her senior year, we finally went. The village was indeed enchanting: costumed workers from Colonial Williamsburg lit bright pitch pine fires in iron bowls on poles known as “cressets.”  The cressets once served as the town’s only streetlights. Smoke curled up in the night air. It was easy to imagine Thomas Jefferson or Patrick Henry scuttling off to some meeting or tavern.

From the stage near the location where we were standing, the master of ceremonies explained that the idea of a Grand Illumination came from long ago times when a king would have a fireworks display at the birth of a new king. It was a way for ordinary working people to celebrate extraordinary events. The master of ceremonies added, “And this is a Grand Illumination for the birthday of the King of Kings!”—an unmistakable reference to the birthday of Jesus. It was a holy moment of harmony, finding the sacred on the town square.

I quickly glanced around me. This was your typical secular crowd of townspeople, tourists, college students. 30 to 50,000 were celebrating the birth of Jesus. I batted back a tear: Yes, happy birthday, King of Kings! I’m told that sometimes the crowd is coaxed into yelling “Huzzah!” which in colonial times was a way of saying “Hooray!”

Sometimes we wonder if it appropriate to still keep Christmas as a Christian holiday. Each family can decide how to handle Santa, but make sure children know it all started with baby Jesus.


Prayer: I pray that I will keep my adoration and focus on you, King of Kings! Hooray!


Have you ever suddenly became aware of the sacred within the secular, at Christmas or any other time? Have you had a goose bump moment at Christmas?


My photos each day in this Advent series feature figures from a handmade advent calendar I picked up long ago at a yard sale. It quickly became the kids’ favorite, and a permanent addition to our Advent collection and celebrations. I hope you enjoy watching the parade of characters on this virtual advent calendar.


This story was first published in my regular syndicated weekly newspaper column, Another Way, see  (which can be used in any local paper; email me for details).


From → Faith, Family Life

  1. Caro - Claire Wiles permalink

    Huzzah!!! Amen to your thoughts in this one! Let us never forget the real reason for the season.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Jennifer Murch

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. -Twyla Tharp

Trisha Faye

Cherishing the Past while Celebrating the Present


To walk or tramp about; to gad, wander. < Old French - trapasser (to trespass).

Tuesdays with Laurie

"Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing." —Laurie Buchanan

Hickory Hill Farm

Blueberries, grapes, vegetables, and more

The Centrality and Supremacy of Jesus Christ

The Website & Blog of David D. Flowers

Cynthia's Communique

Navigating careers, the media and life

the practical mystic

spiritual adventures in the real world

Osheta Moore

Shalom in the City

Shirley Hershey Showalter

writing and reading memoir

Mennonite Girls Can Cook

Harmony, grace and wisdom for family living.

mama congo

Harmony, grace and wisdom for family living.


Harmony, grace and wisdom for family living.

Roadkill Crossing

Writing generated from the rural life

%d bloggers like this: