Reflections from Christmas Eve

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

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