Choosing Silent Night this Christmas
As we approach Christmas, as our Christmas Eve Candlelight Services draw near (reminder, the services are at 2:00, 4:00 and 6:00 p.m.), and as 2020 winds down, many people are expressing a sense of fatigue from the year.
The year has been strange. It has been a year unlike any year any of us have experienced: a global pandemic, global shutdowns, travel restrictions,local and state restrictions and business and school closures and reopenings and partial reopenings, online learning and meetings, wearing face masks, political and social fragmentation and tensions, a strong cultural malaise, job insecurities and questions about what will happen next with Covid-19 have loomed over much of the year. There are many reports of people experiencing depression, anxiety, frustration, anger, of having a greater sense of stress and unease than in almost any year in recent memory. So much for so many seemed so uncertain.
However, the reality is, God is Good and Sovereign, All-Wise, and holds all things together. Even 2020 has been under His authority. In many ways this year has shown us all much of where we truly are in relation to Him, much of what is really important (and what is really not that important), and, also revealed where our priorities (and thus, our hearts) truly are. This has been quite a year.
As we approach Christmas Eve and look forward to our Candlelight and Lord's Supper Services, as we approach Christmas, each of us has an incredible opportunity to choose to quiet our souls, slow down, be still before our God, to worship Him, to thank Him, to cast our anxities upon Him, because He cares for us, and to worship our King.
We've had that choice all year. We have that choice every day of every year. This year, being such an unusual one, perhaps you have not stopped to consider that 2020 does not have the authority to rob you of joy and peace and worshiping Jesus. It does not have the power to rob you of peace and joy. Those are choices we make. We can choose to come to our King and worship Him, or, we can choose to wring our hands in anxiety, or stomp our feet in frustration or anger, because the year has been so....stressful, or challenging, or whatever it may be for us.
We can choose to receive the gift that God the Father has given us through Jesus Christ, or, we can choose to reject that gift.
So many are looking for hope from somewhere, but the only One who can truly address our deepest longings and needs is Jesus Christ. He is humanity's only Hope. He came to us to save us.
Each year in our Christmas Eve services, and perhaps my favorite time in that service (though I honestly love every moment of the services!) is when we light candles at the end of the service and sing 'Silent Night.'
Each year, in that moment in time, something tangible is felt and experienced. You can see people remembering who and what is truly important-Jesus Christ! You see people slow down and remember the incredible cost of our salvation, the infinitely costly gift God gave us in Jesus Christ, and there is a sense of awe and wonder. You see people remember that this season is not about malls and stores and Amazon deliveries, nor is it about the hustle and bustle of this and that, rather it is a holy and quiet season that is nothing short of beautiful, IF we remember what it is ultimately all about-Jesus Christ.
It's a choice. Don't miss Christ in the season that bears His Name, and don't wait until Christmas Eve to stop and worship and respond to the King of Kings. Stop and do that today. Worship the King today! If you have not yet received the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, and if you want to learn more about that gift, send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
I hope to see you Christmas Eve at one of our services, but above and beyond that, I pray that you encounter Christ in the most real and glorious of ways this year.
Grace and Peace,
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