Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Focusing on Holy in the Midst of Secularism - Attend a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

The Polar Express is one of my favorite Christmas movies. Adapted from a picture book, available in both French and English in this home, The Polar Express shares the tale of a young boy who does not believe. Making new friends as he travels to the North Pole to have his faith in Santa restored, the main character undergoes multiple situations that force him to confront his beliefs. He is often heard saying, "Are you sure?", which echoes his search for truth.

Near the end of The Polar Express, this young man finally confirms his belief and meets the Big Guy. He is chosen to receive the first gift of Christmas. He whispers in Santa's ear, and Santa stands tall, holds up a bell that fell from a reindeer harness, and shouts, "The first gift of Christmas."

For a moment there, I was in my own world, watching a favorite Christmas movie. I both expected and waited for the story about the Birth of the Savior. Many centuries ago, Baby Jesus was the first Gift at Christmas. That's what I was waiting for Santa to proclaim.

So, instead of rewriting my own version of The Polar Express to hear the Christmas news, I will attend our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. I think this is one of my favorite church services of the entire year.

The Christmas songs, the candles, the story of Jesus, a new Baby, unexpected accommodations, animals, shepherds, angels, Christmas greetings . . . The thanksgiving, the worship, the prayers, the celebration . . .

I hope you have a candlelight service near you. Take the time to attend. Experience the first Christmas Gift. It will be worth every second.

Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth.

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