Tonight is Christmas Eve. The eve of the birth of Jesus, who is my Lord and Savior. The true meaning and reason behind our Christmas celebrations. One of my family's Christmas traditions has always included going to church on Christmas eve to celebrate Christ's birth and remember what makes this holiday so very special. We have always gone to a Catholic service because my whole family is Catholic. Even when I decided to change churches, I still always went to Christmas eve mass with my family. I love the traditional Christmas carols as well as the presentation of the gospel story of Christ's birth.
This year, however, I decided that I wanted to attend Christmas eve services at my church, Pathway. I wanted to be able to celebrate this joyous day with my friends and fellow believers at this wonderful place where I feel loved and accepted. So I changed my Christmas eve tradition and headed over to Pathway to celebrate this holiday. I am so glad I did because everyone over there did a fabulous job helping to portray the true meaning of Christmas and celebrating Christ's birth and what Emmanuel truly means, which is God with us. I was blown away with the music and it touched my heart in the most profound way. Pastor Ron did a great job relating the birth story and spoke to my heart about not being afraid and trusting in God. It was a amazing to see so many different people all worshipping and thanking God...it uplifted me and helped me refocus on the true meaning of the season.
Now I couldn't not go to church with my family, so after I got home we headed out to Saint Charles, a Cathloic church with my family, Grandma, aunt, uncle, and cousins. I loved seeing the church so beautifully decorated with the nativity scene and singing the traditional Christmas carols. I also thought the priest did a very good job with the Christmas story. I really liked his point that Jesus came to bring us joy, but that sin robs us of that joy. We must confess our sins to restore the joy within our souls and our relationship with our savior.
One thing I really loved about going to both services was just how different they both were but yet how I could meet my Savior in both places and my joy was renewed and strengthened through both experiences. I also loved the similarities between the two services, such as the Christmas story and the music that was played. It reminds me just how blessed I am to have both friends and family that believe as I do. :)
"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11 Glory to God in the Highest!