Christmas Eve Gathering

Melissa HendersonBy Melissa Henderson4 Minutes

The gifts are hand made or purchased. Decorative cards have been delivered. Family and friends have traveled from far and near for a Christmas Eve gathering. Scents of the season fill rooms of houses and churches. Cinnamon, apple cider, cut branches of a fresh tree, and the delectable smells of food prepared for a feast provide the aroma of Christmas.

Preparations have filled the minds and hearts of old and young people. Activities for Advent and the month leading to Christmas have filled the hours and minutes.

With all the hustle bustle, sometimes the focus can shift from the true meaning of Christmas. With check-lists, holiday events and more, pausing and placing God first can help us remember why we are gathering.

Perhaps you are meeting friends for a meal on Christmas Eve. Then, maybe going to a Christmas Eve worship service. Some churches have special candlelight services. Maybe you will be visiting a nursing home or sharing time with shut-ins. One of the ways to show the love of God to others is through fellowship.

While gathering for Christmas Eve service, notice the people around you. There may be new folks to meet. How can you make them feel welcome? Some people may be visiting from out of town. Others may be visiting church for the first time. Whatever the circumstance, the opportunity to share His love is available.

Singing Christmas Eve hymns, taking Communion, holding a candle for the candlelight service, and thanking God for His love are ways to celebrate a Christmas Eve gathering. While bells are ringing, we can remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

Why do we gather on Christmas Eve? The date on the calendar is not as important as the reason. Being together in fellowship, singing hymns of praise, and giving thanks to God are ways to remember the birth of Jesus Christ.

As Mary and Joseph waited for the birth, shepherds kept watch over their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to those shepherds. They listened and proceeded to go to Bethlehem to see what was told to them.

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12 NIV)

A Christmas Eve gathering can be filled with emotions such as joy, gladness, thanksgiving, and peace. Jesus was born, lived, suffered, and was crucified. The love God has for His creations is immeasurable.

Whether you gather with loved ones, friends, and family or you are worshiping by yourself, know that you are never alone. God is always present.

How will you celebrate Christmas Eve this year?

In His Name,
Melissa Henderson