The pictures in this post are from the late Christmas Eve service at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Christmas is a time to ponder and pray. Ponder the fact that God has noticed us. Why would He even notice? We are but tiny specks on the earth which itself is a tiny particle floating in the vast universe of empty space. Yet He did more than notice, He came here to live with us, and to be one of us, forever.
Late on Christmas Eve after church, I usually watch Christmas specials on television. The last show I usually watch is midnight mass at the Vatican which I appreciate for its quiet reverence and beauty. After mass, I enjoy the lights while pondering the divine mystery of salvation. Late on Christmas Eve, it is quiet. There is a quiet stillness that descends on the world, and it lasts through the morning of the First Day of Christmas. It is the beautiful stillness of a shared holiday.
St. John is a small church, but the lens on my G12 still isn’t wide enough to take in the entire view. That’s okay. Life isn’t lived through a camera. A camera can help only to remember the reality: the heat from the candle, the collective glow from many small lights, the wax I later found on my pants, and the fellowship of other Christians.
The real reason we gather together as the Body of Christ, is not for the pretty lights, but rather to be with each other and to receive from our Lord. He is one of us. He is with us. He unites us together in truth. The lights merely symbolize the spiritual reality. “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:4).
Light reveals truth. Love brings unity. Truth with unity is life. On the night He was betrayed, Jesus prayed for all Christians:
“May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
— John 17:20-24, NIV1984.
May you have a blessed Fourth Day of Christmas.