Church Christmas(es)

Throughout the Christmas season I was in four different churches, three in one day even, for at least five different services. That’s really not unlike any other Christmas season — we go to our own church, the Christmas program at my dad’s church, a special event or two at other churches — but I was more aware of it this year at the onset of the season and paused to appreciate them all not only individually but also collectively. Each service could stand alone but I found it was more enriching if I appreciated them all together like one, big progressive service.

Early in the month, my mom, the boys and I went to the Charles Billingsley concert at my church, and was blessed and entertained with good Christmas music. The Sunday before Christmas we went to the early service at our church, which was a tad bit of singing but primarily about the sermon. Immediately after that we drove out to my dad’s church. Their entire service was dedicated to a children’s play/musical in which my teenage nephews were singing solos. I cried when they sang — they did such a good job singing and I was so proud of them for having the courage to sing in front of a crowd of people.

Later that night we went to one of the bigger churches in town to a piano concert of Christmas music. I love going to this one every year because the piano talent is extraordinary! For some pieces four pianos are played simultaneously. It’s just amazing to me the talent that has been both given and nurtured.

On Christmas Eve, our family-of-four went to candlelight communion at our church, and the weekend after Christmas, while on a mini-vacation, we went to church with old friends.

So this Christmas I am thankful for each service and how we were able to worship and were blessed in so many different ways — through the “traditional” presentation of a sermon, through music and children, through seeing others’ faithfulness to the talents God has blessed them with, through observing communion, through fellowship with family and friends, and more.

Happy (belated) Christmas!


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