The Rev. Rob Baldwin, pastor, Trinity Episcopal Church, 1011 Vt.:
There is a moment that comes every Christmas season, without fail, that I absolutely love.
It happens right after the late service Christmas Eve. I’ve been through the pageantry and sound and the mass of people that attend the service, and then I drive home and everything outside is still.
I go out into my backyard, even in the biting cold, and am struck by the massive absence of sound, the perfect stillness of the moonlit night. I look up at the stars, and take everything in.
It reminds me of what that first night must have been like for the shepherds, furtively grazing their sheep in some field, or the quiet stable where a pair of new parents try to care of their child.
It is surprising how much noise exists in our day-to-day existence, and in that silent moment I can talk to God apart from the rush and excitement and responsibilities of the season. It renews my sense of awe about God to see the majesty of the starry universe, and I have a chance to be thankful for the gift of Jesus Christ into a dark and beautiful world.
— Send email to Rob Baldwin at email@example.com.
The Rev. Barry Watts, Associate Pastor, Lawrence Heights Christian Church, 2321 Peterson Road:
Christmas is a time of many family traditions and for my family, a Christmas Eve service is at the center of our remembrance of Christ’s birth.
While liturgical traditions and customary practices can be effective in bringing a congregation to worship, the danger of following any kind of standardized worship schedule is losing the important meaning behind each act of worship. The Christmas Eve service at Lawrence Heights Christian Church allows the Lord to reveal himself in a new and refreshing way. Candlelight, carols and communion are a part of this special evening.
Christmas Eve is a time our family gathers together to give God praise for the birth of Christ. In addition, this year, for the first time since 2005, we will have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas during our regular Sunday worship. What an awesome opportunity to worship God and give him the honor and glory for sending us his son and the gift of his grace.
What are my plans this year? My family will join my church family at 6 p.m. Dec. 24 at Lawrence Heights Christian Church. Then, we will wake up early Sunday morning and open gifts with my young child. At 10:30 a.m., we will take advantage of the rare opportunity to sit in God’s House on Christmas Day, during Sunday worship, and thank him for the sacrifice of his son for us, the undeserving sinners. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the true reason for the season.
— Send email to Barry Watts at firstname.lastname@example.org.