As a child, my father took my brother, sister, and me out to the barn after the Christmas Eve Candlelight service to read the Christmas story from the Bible. My father gentle example shaped me both as a child and as an adult and inspired this blog post:
It is Christmas Eve, at last. All the preparations are finished, the house is clean and decorated; the special foods have been prepared; the gifts have been carefully chosen, and wrapped. Soon it will be time for the Candlelight service and then tired and excited we will go home to bed.
Take time for one last stop along your way. Stop at the stable, dark and cold, where the quiet movements of the animals are sleepy and subdued. Rest for a moment on the hay and feel the rough texture of this humble material that once cradled a King. Imagine, as you sit in the darkness, Mary’s pain, her tiny son’s first cry, Joseph’s tears. Feel the cold, sharp, winter air against your cheeks, the hard frozen earth beneath your feet, as you turn toward home. Pause long enough to look for one last glance to catch sight of the star, white and glittering in the velvet dark of the sky.
He came for you. He came this night 2000 years ago to find you, to win you, to hold you. Among the scents of gingerbread and peppermint, the glitter of Christmas lights, the warm comfort of firelight, for just a moment – take time to remember. This Christmas Eve pause long enough to listen for the soft rush of angel wings. Listen…he comes!