Thursday, December 24, 2009
Christmas Eve Blessings
For 10 years here we have held a Christmas Eve service by candle light where we gather to sing the carols of the season, hear the Scriptures that tell of the Savior's birth, and share communion together. Every year we hear from people that the service is one of the most meaningful we do.
Tonight's service was special for a number of reasons. We had some families with us we haven't seen in a while. Some others came home. The season leading up to tonight has been rich in God's presence and provision. Our Advent Conspiracy efforts have been very fruitful and we are going to see lives saved as a result.
But the best part of tonight's service - the part I'll never forget - happened after everyone else was gone, and actually didn't happen at church. We decided that some of the people who are the heart of New Hope, but who couldn't come to the worship tonight needed to have worship brought to them. So we called Robert and Jewel Hughes and Larry Smith Sr and took our Christmas Eve service to them.
When we arrived, we explained what had happened in the worship service, and why we were there - to share the love we had felt there with them. So we sang Silent night, and I read the Scripture from 1 Corinthians and offered them the symbols of the body and blood of Christ, praying before each.
As we got ready to leave the Hughes' home, Jewel asked Robert to give her his hands. As we helped him stand, she took her husband's hands and told him how much she loved him, and how much she thanked God for him. It was an infinitely intimate and precious moment of pure love.
Just like Bethlehem.
The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: 11 A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master
Luke 2:10-11 (MSG)
What love! What a Savior! What joy!
Merry Christmas everyone.