Our Christmas Eve service was beautiful last night. One that I will remember for years to come. The sanctuary was decorated with the usual pine roping and poinsettias. Both the organ and piano complimented each other. The lights in the sanctuary were dimmed as the service began. I felt at peace, waiting for the usual tribute to Jesus. The reason I came to this service, to celebrate His birth. We also celebrated Communion last night. As Pastor Matt began reading scripture I realized this service was going to be different.
After communion Pastor Jon gave instructions that were new to me, regarding the lighting of candles. His special instructions were to close the service singing, Joy to the World, carrying our lighted candles out of the sanctuary. The new instructions were for each of us to take our candle, find one of the unlit luminaries, which had been placed outside on the sidewalk surrounding our church, and light that luminary.
My husband reached for my hand as we found our car in the parking lot. We both agreed that the service was beautiful. However, it wasn't until about an hour later that I was awestruck.
One of the reasons the service was special was that my husband was strong enough to go with me. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's over four years ago, and most days he doesn't have the strength to do much. My sweet hubby knows, I am like a child at Christmas, I love to drive around to see the Christmas lights. So we went home after church, changed clothes, got mugs of hot chocolate, the "boys" (Bailey and Meko) and set out to "see the Christmas lights".
We had been driving around for a while, and finally decided to go back home. For whatever reason, I decided to drive back past our church. It was then my eyes filled with tears.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said "Let light shine out of darkness, made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (NIV).
The luminaries that we had each lit earlier, lined the sidewalks outside our Church. Jesus said in John 12:46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
And there in the darkness, His light was shining brightly for all of us to see.