Growing up, Mom always made sure her and I went to church on Christmas Eve.
Weeks before Christmas we'd have each selected our "Christmas Outfits." I usually wore it to the Christmas pageant and then again on Christmas Eve. We'd get all dressed up and head out the door to the candlelight service.
I've always loved the Christmas Eve service at any church. But the end of the candlelight service is my favorite. I love holding my little candle at the end, while singing "Silent Night" it's such a magical moment for me.
In that one magical moment you know everyone is at church for the same reason. Not because they want to wear their special Christmas outfit, or because they're getting "their church card punched" or because their Mother made them.
No, in that one final magical moment of the evening, when churches everywhere, of all denominations sing "Silent Night" and hold their little flames out, you know everyone is thinking the same thing and their hearts are truly smiling for the gift we've been given.
Tonight I will be going to 5:00 worship because baby Angelo can't stay up for the candlelight service. But I'll be with my Mom and we'll be singing together. And as I sing "Silent Night," "Joy to the World," and "Oh Holy Night" that magical feeling will appear and I'll smile to myself knowing how lucky I am to have that feeling and be able to share it with my own son for his first Christmas the way my Mom has with me for so many years.
So, have a "MAGICAL" Merry Christmas!
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2:11-14 (NIV)