How quickly the years roll by. It’s hard to believe that Chatham Christian Church celebrated its 47th Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service this past Christmas. Marilyn and I have only been here for 45 of them, but I believe Jim and Mary Sexton have been to all 47.
Over the years we’ve done a variety of things on Christmas Eve in addition to the communion service, presenting cantatas and the like, but I have to say I really enjoy what we do now more than any. Some of the enjoyment may come from the fact that I don’t have to be a part of the musical presentation, and can just enjoy the service. But I also really do enjoy seeing how all the pieces come together.
When I make it known that we need special music, and invite any who might have something to share to do so, I never know what to expect. But as I start hearing from those willing to share a song that reflects their love for Christ and Christmas, it quickly becomes obvious that we’re going to have a great night of celebration. And according to the comments I heard, this year’s was one of the best.
The attendance this year was also very encouraging. Attendance had slipped a bit over the years, and I was beginning to wonder how long we would be able to continue with this tradition. If this year is any indication of our future, I think we can plan on hosting many more.
I put out 200 candles this year, thinking that would be more than enough. When I went through the baskets after the service, however, I only found six that had hadn’t been used. And then I started hearing about some who didn’t get a candle because their basket was empty. I know we haven’t had 200 at our Christmas Eve service in a long time, and I have to admit it really felt good to see so many here.
I don’t know what God has in store for us in 2018, but I know our future is in good hands. In fact, I believe our big Five-0 will be here before we know it. And, Lord willing, I’m looking forward to my big Five-0 as your preacher.
God Bless, Rick