As you’ve surely noticed already, Christmas falls on a Sunday this year. That means that we will be having worship on Christmas Eve (at 7:00 p.m.) and also on Christmas Day (10:00 a.m.).
This pattern is something that happens every seven or eight years (depending on how leap year works into this and don’t ask me to explain that because I can’t!).
It does, however, provide a rare opportunity to have a fuller appreciation for the power of the Christmas event. After all, God gives us primarily two gifts at Christmas and we can find the first on Christmas Eve and the second on Christmas Day.
Those gifts are: Assurance and Opportunity.
First the assurance. Christmas Eve reminds us that Jesus’ birth took place at night. The spiritual ramifications of this are many but suffice it to say that due to this timing, we can be sure that in the nighttime moments of our lives, in the overcrowded times that shut out hope and relegate our dreams to a stable instead of a secure home, that is when God comes to us.
There can be no greater gift. There can be no greater assurance at Christmas.
Then the opportunity. Christmas Day reminds us that the world is different now because of Christ’s birth and the incarnation of God among us. The world is no longer like the day before. It is no longer marked by a God somewhere out in the distant heavens. We are no longer alone and never will be again. Divine abandonment is now an impossibility.
This new world is full of opportunities to live differently and build a society reflective of such powerful Good News.
I hope you can join us for both worship services to usher in the Christmas season. I trust you will feel the nighttime of assurance and the morning of opportunity in a way that will make Christmas transformative in your life.
See you in church,