The sanctuary was decorated for the Advent Season. A shaft of light illuminated the Nativity display on the communion table in front center of the church. The scene added emphasis to the scripture that was being read, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned” (Matthew 4:16).
Looking around, evergreen ropes and Christmas wreaths were beautifully placed around the sanctuary. Small clear lights adorned these decorations and gave the area a soft, gentle glow that warmed the whole room. Surrounding the Nativity scene was a number of radiant red Poinsettias.
As the combined Children’s and Sanctuary Choirs sang the music of Christmas the ambiance of the Savior’s birth enveloped me. My soul was immersed in the ‘good news’ of the gospel. For a time, thoughts of “Peace on Earth – Good Will Toward Men” surrounded me. The discord and tears of a world wounded by sin dimmed in the Light of Hope.
Leaving this precious time of worship, I took several things with me for the days ahead. First, the need to keep the the birth of the Savior as the centerpiece of the Christmas Celebration. Secondly, as ‘lesser lights’, there is the need to shine in the darkness for others to see. Then the Poinsettias, so prevalent this season, serve as a reminder of the price He paid for our salvation. He shed His precious blood to save us from sin. He was born to die.
The news crackles with negative static of terrorist attacks, domestic violence, abuse, addiction, and deprivation. “For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men!” But, listen and hear the music of Christmas! It will brighten the darkest days. “Then rang the bells more loud and deep God is not dead, nor does he sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail with peace on earth, good will toward men” (“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” – Longfellow).
Prayer: As it was with the shepherds at Jesus’s birth, may the glory of the Lord shine upon you this Christmas season.
~ Brother Roy