I love going to church on Christmas Eve for a Christmas Eve service. Most churches simplify things quite a bit and the Christmas Eve service is usually just a simple message with simple music and people who just simply want to focus in on the baby Jesus. There is just something about standing with other people and singing Silent Night by candlelight. I’ve been to services where we stand in a circle and I’ve also been where we just stood where we were but somehow it just always seems so Holy!
But I also love my church all year through. I love the fellowship and the connection of being a part of the church. Church services have been different this year. The church has had to prove over and over that it is definitely more than a building. We have seen in this pandemic year that the church will stand and will adapt and will continue to minister whether they can meet in person or not. I have seen churches pay off buildings and do new hires even in the midst of this whole crazy year. In fact ours did both. We as a people have had church in the building, in our living rooms, on back porches and around fire pits. I for one am grateful to live in a time that even if I can’t go to the building that I can log onto a computer and still worship with my faith family. Oh don’t get me wrong, I love going to the building. But at times when you just can’t it’s nice to know that the building can come to you, so to speak.
I believe that we were created to crave community. That has been part of what has been hard about this year. We have had to separate from our community somewhat because of this mean old virus. And I for one miss it. We see in the Bible that some of the very first mentions of “church” were in the book of Acts, but think about it. When Jesus was teaching to people on hillsides and in temples and beside water and people were gathering to listen to him teach they were “having church” with him. Isn’t that what the church is? A place to learn about Jesus, to fellowship with other believers, to minister to people and to learn to love each other. And when we get to have church and when we get it right it is a beautiful thing. Church is a place to go to get your heart healed and there is no better place and time than on Christmas Eve. If you have never experienced a Christmas Eve service try to find you one tonight. Even if you can’t go in person I know there are several churches that will be live-streaming theirs. So whether you meet in the building or meet in your homes online, quiet your soul and think on that Holy Night and Jesus and let Him heal your heart just a bit from a very long hard year.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common.” Acts 2:42-44