Christmas by Candlelight
A partially-darkened sanctuary illuminated by candlelight, Christmas carols echoing in the nave, the sharing of the Christmas story from the pastors, choir music lifted up, the message of salvation announced at the coming of the Savior of the world, culminating in the room darkened as the people hold their individual candles while singing ‘Silent Night’. This is the tradition of St. John Nottingham and this year was no exception with scores of people attending its Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship Service.
This year’s theme was “Angels: Messengers of God”. Senior Pastor Dr. Walther Marcis gave mini-meditations on the Christmas Promise as the Historical Account of the Birth of Christ unfolded.
Christmas is a significant time in the church year as it heralds the coming of the God of all Creation to earth to restore the relationship between God and man that was lost in the Garden of Eden. The actual date of Christ’s birth may be debated but the Biblical fact that it happened, is what is important. December 25 is just the opportunity for us to celebrate this life-changing event in all of human history.
Scripture declares Jesus ‘The Light of the World’, and so as people sat in the SJN pews on Christmas Eve within a darkened landscape, the Light of Christ permeated the darkness through candlelight. It can be very moving when considering that this tiny child came into our world for one purpose… to die! Thankfully for us, He didn’t stay dead, but rose victoriously on the third day.. but that’s for another time!
The New Year has begun and Christmas may be over, but the Spirit of Christmas lives on in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who with the Father, and the Son are ever One God, world without end. Happy New Year!