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December 24, 2020

“While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.” Luke 2:6

I’m up, awake in the quiet darkness of this day before Christmas. I’m up but with little to do. I’m not preparing for the marathon celebrations that, most years, joyfully mark this day. I’ll head into Grace around noon for a ten-person service of Holy Communion. Then it will be back home for dinner and the Children’s Christmas Eve service which goes live at 4:15. Back to Grace for worship via livestream beginning at 7:00. All of which will be wonderful.

But I’ll miss the festive hour before the Christmas Eve service that functions as both family reunion and alumni gathering as folks pack the nave in anticipation. I’ll miss sitting in the dark, suddenly silent, before the first note is sung. I’ll miss looking out at candles lifted during “Silent Night” as Christmas Eve turns to Christmas Day. I’ll miss all of this, just as I’ve missed many things this year. Today, I’ll miss seeing you.

But the angels will still fill the heavens with Gloria.

The earth will still exult in the presence of its Savior.

The shepherds will still rush to the manger.

We will still hear the story of compassionate Joesph.

We will still see faithful Mary, cradling her child, the hope of this world.

We will still see Jesus, the Christ, born into this world to save us from our sin.

The Light still shines.

So this morning, I’ll enjoy the extra time with my family. Tonight, I’ll spend the final hours of the day with Erika, something we’ve never had the chance to do on Christmas Eve. And tomorrow will start even earlier than today, with children eager to see what Christmas brings.

Then again, children know what Christmas brings. It brings Jesus, the Light which no darkness can overcome. Rise up, friends, and behold the Light that still shines. Rise up, friends, and add your voice to the angels’ songs of praise. Rise up, friends, and come. Behold the newborn Prince of Peace.

Merry Christmas!

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of light, we praise you this day for the birth of your Son, our Savior. May the light and life of Christ fill us with grace and truth, especially this year. As we are apart one from another, strengthen the bonds of the Spirit that transcend space and time. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: Grace, ready for Christmas (thanks to those who decorated!).

For information about how to join Grace for worship today, at 4:15pm and 7:00pm, head on over to

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