Last Christmas was a little weird. This Christmas has been hard to even recognize. A pep talk from Walker kick started the conversations with the fam identifying just what needed to be a priority as the Advent Calendar dipped from double digits into single with alarming speed. Still, it's been a challenge to find the joy in the season. And then, it was here. Our church opted for two Christmas Eve services. The first Christmas Eve Service ran December 23rd earning it the title "Christmas Eve Eve".
Turns out that was just the thing. Traditionally, the 23rd is the day and evening for running crazy to finish up grocery and gift shopping. There are eight One Last Trip drives to the store with each one involving impulse purchases in hopes of avoiding the subsequent trip. There was still some of that with a couple of small gifts still on the list, milk and coffee both needed, and the mister and I trying to finish up holiday party attire for the Company Christmas Party (that has conveniently rescheduled to be a Company Holiday Party on New Year's Day). Little Bit's shoes were also trashed and her foot is growing. Anywho. The point here is not all the running around during the daylight hours. After dark, we left the main streets and the crazed drivers to join those arriving at the church building.
There, we greeted our loved ones exchanging hugs, chatter, and Christmas wishes until the lights began to lower with the filling of the sanctuary. The music swelled. It filled the room transforming from notes into Worship. The congregation became Worshippers. After a month spent examining the names of Jesus, the final name "Yeshua" was woven into the narrative of the Christmas Story as Shakespeare's Juliet was quoted asking what was in a name. The answer was that the name we celebrated last night was not any ordinary name, but that brought on Angel's mighty lips from Heaven itself. A name spoken first to Mary and then to Joseph, and last night proclaimed again and again.
I lay awake until just past midnight thinking of God's Son on a night usually given over to the worldly and cultural trappings of Christmas. And even though all is not right in the world, there is peace in it because the day when we celebrate the birth of the Mighty King is upon us. And in the dark and stillness, there was a sweet, quiet joy that had been missing. If you wish to join in the celebration with Christ Fellowship, a live online service will run tonight at 7:00 Central.