A candlelight Christmas service is one of my favorite times to spend with the Body.
It's right up there with a sunrise Easter service,
and a Night of Thanks.
I love everything about it....
the Christmas carols, and reading the Christmas story, and communion, and having my five year old sit beside me instead of go to a separate class, and taking time during the holiday season to just sit and do nothing but meditate on Christ.
Christmas is the gospel -
the truth of Jesus coming to earth as a man,
giving His life to bring us back to God.
And oh how I just love it....
the Body gathered together - declaring by our presence together that
the Rescuer is come.
Tonight's candlelight service was particularly special to Team Davis,
because we got to share it with our Heritage family for the first time.
I was fully aware the entire time that we were participating in this service for the first time of many; that we were beginning traditions that will last for our children's whole lives.
God's goodness to us through this Body is breathtaking.
My heart overflowed with joy as we worshipped together,
and I did very well until the end.
We gathered around our worship center, and lit our candles, and sang Silent Night.
The Carter's were on one side of us, the Andrew's on the other.
Both are families that we have come to love deeply since we've moved here, and I mean that. These are not superficial relationships - we've gotten real and gone deep with both of these families; we've laughed together (a lot) and dealt with tough stuff together, and we are so thankful for their presence in our lives.
So when I looked on either side of us, I couldn't help but cry.
The favor God has shown us to give us friends like these already is amazing.
And then I looked across that worship center and saw so many familiar faces,
people that we are getting to know and growing to love more every day.
People who are opening their hearts to us,
who are being woven into the very fabric of our lives.
Before we sang the second chorus,
I was choking back sobs.
that Christmas morning so many years ago -
the Word became flesh.
God Almighty came to us,
He put on skin and bones,
and He came to live among us.
His Rescue plan could have been different -
but this is what He chose.
To become human.
It's where the immortal and mortal collided
in a grand, breathtaking moment.
The pinnacle of history.
And this is still His kindness to us -
to make up His church, His Body of flesh and blood people.
Not one in that building tonight is perfect.
No, we're all scratched and dented and broken and rebuilt
and we stood there with our candles lifted high,
singing about the Light of the World
because we believe.
We believe we need a Rescuer.
We believe Scripture is full of the promises of His rescue plan.
We believe that Jesus, Emmanuel, is God in the flesh.
We believe that His birth was divine,
His life was sinless,
His death was a gift,
and His resurrection is our hope.
I'm so thankful tonight for God made flesh.
I'm so thankful that He has made his Body from people just like me -
who sin and fall short and need a Savior.
I'm so thankful for this particular Body,
on this particular night.