Whatever you call it… Christmas without snow to a lot of us who have spent all or most of our lives in the Snow Belt just doesn’t seem right. So now I’m wondering what are some of the other things that like a white Christmas, we have our hearts set on. There is Christmas music of many different varieties. I mean who doesn’t listen to Nat King Cole and Burl Ives at Christmas. For one thing you can’t help it… walk into any mall and it’s been on since Halloween. Or what about the real Christmas Tree verses the artificial Christmas Tree. Our young adult children who have different traditions about everything else in life, think we have given up on Christmas because a couple of years ago, with both of them living elsewhere we put up an artificial tree.
Whatever else you need to feel right about Christmas I hope that on the top of your list is going to church on Christmas Eve. Our services are at 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Our four o’clock service will have our children reenacting the Christmas story. We’ll have small props for them to wear and come forward at the right time depending on if they are an angel, a star or a shepherd. At the ten o’clock service we’re a bit more formal with the Chancel Choir singing and Holy Communion. At both services we will do something that makes Christmas for a lot of us. After hearing the Christmas story we’ll sing “Silent Night,” turn down the lights and light individual candles.
There is something about candlelight that makes Christmas for most of us. Perhaps it is the softness of the light in an often-harsh world that moves us. From my viewpoint up in front, it is the glow that our separate candles combine to create. I can also see individual faces in that common light. And what gets to me in those moments, in the glow of that light, is how it is that God came to be one of us, for each of us and for all of us.
Each of us needs something a little different for Christmas to become real for us. God knows this. And into each of our lives, to each one of our needs God sends God’s-self. “Christ the Savior is Born…” is how we say this when we hold our candles and sing. And perhaps it is in the soft light of candles and the almost breathless repeating of that phrase on Christmas Eve that we begin to believe it.
Have a Blessed Christmas…