Outside, while waiting for the service to begin, the air is warm and still, yet it feels like Christmas. There is an expectation of something really special about to occur. People gather in the darkness, unknown at first, but as the doors are opened, and we approach the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree, I see that I know most of those gathering. There are some new faces though. People seeking the golden light that only worship provides. We welcome them as family too. As we enter the sanctuary, beautiful music greets us, moving us in a way that is beyond words. There is a soft beginning to the service. It sneeks up on us, quietly. The Christ candle is finally lit; the advent wreath is now complete, and the flames cast light and shadows in waves. Then we are transported by the lights, the laughter, the music, the beauty. Roger is dynamic tonight, providing the scripture reading by memory, and in a dramatic style that lets you know that this is important. It isn’t a conversation; it is the inspired word of God. We all sit up a little straighter on the pews. The well known and loved scripture, Luke 2:8-14,  echoing in our thoughts, but really, more a part of us than a thought. As we near the end of the service, the elders move into place beside the Lord’s Table. These men lead our hearts to the place it needs to be to accept the gravity of what we are about to do. Their prayers and our prayers are uplifted and unite on the table. This service celebrates the birth of our savior, and it mourns the physical death of our Lord. But as Christians, we know that our Lord is the victor over death. He is the Light that abolishes the darkness. After we partake of the Lord’s Table, we stand and weave our way around the exterior walls of the darkened sanctuary, singing Silent Night. Soon our neighbor tips his candle towards us; The Light is passed. We sing and hold up our lit candles, chasing away the darkness. What a wonderful service. May you have a blessed and joyous Christmas. ….Melissa Watson

photos provided by Meredith Beeman

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