I love Christmas Eve candlelight services--all Christmas Eve candlelight services. The day leading up to the services is full of cooking, baking, cleaning, fighting, lounging, watching movies. There's an energy in the air, but life goes on.
I yell at The Daughters to put on clean and appropriate clothes. I fuss about having to do all the chores myself even though I told The Daughters I wouldn't ask them to do anything on this particular day. I grumble with Brian because he runs around all day delivering pecans and buying Christmas ornaments because Christmas day has snuck up on his yet again. We'll finally get in the vehicle and the chorus of "Get Me To The Church On Time" will waft through my mind as I sit in the front seat breathing heavy because it took us way too long to get to this point.
Then, we'll walk into the sanctuary. We'll hear the story of a young mother giving birth and how that baby will grow up to offer us a love that the world has never known before. We'll stand together, passing the candle light from one candle to another, and lift our voices in celebration of the miracle of Christmas.
The beauty of this message is this: The yelling and crankiness and fuss and muss of the day leading up to this night falls away; The ugliness doesn't last; I am not in charge of this life (I hear all y'all saying "Thank God," and I follow it up with an "Amen."); There is more than just this world.
There is hope and love and joy and peace and light--and it comes in the symbol of a little baby who can take the cranky world away and replace it with beauty.
It's my favorite night of the year, recognizing once again that there's more to life than this world has to offer. That's a beautiful light in this often dark world.