Christmas Eve 2015

IMG_0510Christmas Eve at Woodland Church is always special! The carols, music, candlelight, communion, friends, family and of course the Christmas story of God’s Christmas Peace in Christ. It’s always amazing to step out and see so many friends locally and from far away come home to Woodland!

Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”” (Matthew 1:20–21, NLT)

[The angels sang] “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”” (Luke 2:14, NLT)

I love the angels, I don’t worship them but I’m so grateful for the white-hot purity of their love for God. They sped from heaven above to sing in the skies over Bethlehem’s fields the glory of God. With joy they magnify His gift of salvation He gave us in Christ. JESUS, he will save His people from their sins!

I’ve always enjoyed the service, but last night has to be the most special service yet. The joyful sounds of Christmas Carols filled the sanctuary as we sang. It was a magical moment. Joy was abundant as we gave in our Christmas Dream Offering to bless our missionaries and missions efforts. At the conclusion of the message there were a number of people who raised their hands to indicate they committed their lives to Christ. The angels rejoice over one sinner coming to Christ the Bible tells us. Can you imagine the white-hot joy with which they sang with joy last night!

Then that moment when we light our candles together and the sanctuary is lit softly with the candles of hundreds of us singing Silent Night. Beautiful!

After the Christmas Eve Service we always read the Christmas Cards we have received. The messages and pictures help us catch up with friends. Some of our friends include a brief message, a photo, others underline significant words and some include an annual Christmas letter. It’s a few minutes of joy. Everyone listens and says, “let me see.” After appetizers of our children exchanged their gifts with one another. They want to wait until Christmas morning to receive our gifts to them and give their gifts to us. And it’s a good moment when I can lay down for a long winter’s nap!

Peace!

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