By Rebekah Hurst, editor
One of my favorite things to do each year is attend my church’s Christmas Eve service. But as beautiful as the church is with candles lit throughout, it’s not just about the beauty. And as wonderful as the songs are, it’s not all about the music. For me, pews lined with families from the newest member to the oldest, united again, sharing in the service together is something I treasure seeing and experiencing. College kids in for Christmas break; adult children, both single and/or married with children of their own, home for the holidays, all to share in family traditions. And parents of all ages, feeling thankful to have their children close to them again.
Each of us have had our own experiences throughout the year, forever engraved on our hearts. For some, 2015 was a year that brought new life, new jobs or school successes, or adventures filled with excitement and a vision of good things to come. For others, they may be thankful that the year is coming to a close, for it was one filled with deep sorrow over the death of loved ones or relationships, loss of careers, or even simply, the loss of a way of life that was secure and comfortable, peaceful.
But on this night, we will worship together once again, for it is our love for Jesus that brought us together here in the beginning. As a family, we will see the beauty in the soft candle light as we worship in praise and song. We will hear the greatest story ever told, the birth of Christ our King, and be filled with the hope He brings for the coming year and all eternity.
And after the service has ended, the candles all blown out and the house lights brought to bright, sometimes I feel sorry for the custodial staff because they can’t quickly lock up and go home until everyone leaves. For on this precious Christmas Eve each year, everyone seems hesitant to say good bye, needing to linger just a little longer, for one last hug, a little tighter. As we age, we know how very precious life is and how even a moment can bring a lasting memory; and even better, a lasting shared memory.
Christmas Eve at our church is probably like Christmas Eve services everywhere; the evening is more like a family reunion, both for blood related families and the Family of God. Of course, the Family of God is blood related too, in the best possible way. And for this, we are mindful and thankful.
I wish that each of you are blessed with hope, grace and love in the year to come.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6