I suspect not everyone that is reading this email will be in their "kerchief or cap" on Christmas Eve and will not have settled in for a "long winter's nap." I'm positive there will be some "clatter" that will be taking place in some houses. After all, there are presents to wrap, cookies to bake, house cleaning to be done, preparations for the Christmas dinner will still need to happen. Thankfully, most stores will be closed, so if shopping will still be on your list on Christmas Eve, it will have to wait a couple of days.
Even though when we see Christmas Hallmark cards, it may seem like it was all peaceful on that first Christmas, my guess is it was not. My guess is that there was "clatter" that night as well, as Joseph worked to support Mary at the birth of her first child. We hear that this took place in a stable. We see pictures with animals all around. I bet they weren't that quiet either.
And yet, with the birth, the baby boy named Jesus was ushering in a different kind of peace, a peace not possible before. A peace made possible only with the incarnation of God into our world. A peace that would be made possible with what Jesus would do 33 years later. A peace in our hearts, a peace with God made possible through His grace and mercy. Even in the midst of that "clatter" on the first Christmas night, a new kind of peace was born.
Even in the midst of your "clatter" this coming "night before Christmas," I pray that you will find that peace, the peace that Jesus brings, especially in the midst of wrapping, baking, cleaning, and cooking. And I pray that you might find peace in one more place, in worship at church.
Come worship and help usher in that peace at one of our Christmas Eve services this year.
* 5:00 p.m. Family Service
* 8:00 p.m. Contemporary Service with Candle Lighting
* 11:00 pm. Traditional Service with Candle Lighting
And when you leave Christmas Eve services, go to your place of rest, literally and figuratively, put on your "kerchief or cap," settle back, and enjoy the wonder and the miracle of that very first Christmas.
May the peace of Christ be with you, not just "the night before Christmas," but every day.