This year, Christmas Eve was on Saturday and Christmas was on Sunday. For me, it was like stepping into a whirlwind.
The first service on Christmas Eve was geared towards families with young children. The sanctuary was packed with little ones dressed as shepherds, angels, donkeys, camels, wisemen, Mary, Joseph, the list goes on and on….
The entire chancel rail was lined with children playing different parts in the Nativity. It was a sight to behold. One star made a break for it, but he was caught before he got too far. One angel ended up visiting Pastor Kit. I’m still not sure how he got up there.
Dr. Bradley helped with the sermon and knocked it out of the park.
The service ended with everyone singing Silent Night as they held candles high in the air. It was a breathtaking scene. This service was the one pictured on the front page of the Temple Daily Telegram.
Next came the second service. It was completely different. It was a much more serene atmosphere, with Dr. Bradley assisting in the sermon, Holy Communion, and ending with candlelight. Again, it was breathtaking.
On Christmas morning, I knew hardly anyone would be at worship and if I wanted to, I could fire a shotgun in the sanctuary and not hit anyone. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people eager to give God thanks on Sunday morning. So, I decided not to test my shotgun theory. I would have hit someone.
There is something about these three worship services that feeds my soul and reminds me that no matter how chaotic and out of control the world seems to be, God’s here, God loves us, and God will bring us home. That’s all I really need to know.
So, in the hustle and bustle of everything happening as we barrel towards New Year’s Eve, don’t lose sight of what this is all about.
John said, “The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, thank you for sending your Word into this world and into my life. I pray the way I think, speak, and act brings you joy. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Oh, one more thing. Every pastor is terrified of candlelight services because of the potential for a child setting his mother’s hair on fire. I speak from experience. This year it didn’t happen.
God is good.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.