*A week or so late, but I wanted to post.*
Over the past four weeks, we have been in the season of Advent. Advent is not a countdown to Christmas, but a season of waiting, expectation, and self-examination as we await the return of Christ. As we gather tonight and light the Christ Candle, we move into the season of Christmas. We are reminded in Luke
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
There are many reasons to come and worship on Christmas Eve. The lights, the candles, communion, a heartwarming story, family, friends, the music. Christmas Eve has all the feels.
The birth of Christ is more than nostalgic feelings. On Christmas Eve we proclaim, like the angels, that God’s redemption is here in Jesus. The challenge for us tonight is to take the approach of the shepherds who said: “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see.”
As we light the Christ Candle, let us continue to seek Christ. Let us see for ourselves and make personal the presence of Jesus in our lives. Let us shine the light of Christ for the world to see and experience God’s love for themselves.
Let Us Pray:
God of all Creation, we open our hearts to you this evening. Help us to hear anew the Good News that you are for us and not against us. Strengthen us for the journey to seek you with all of our hearts. Help us to shine the light of Christ wherever you lead us. We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen.
The New International Version(Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Lk 2:8–15.