It’s been a quiet Christmas. Possibly the one of the best Christmases our family has had in a long time.
I read some books, took the offspring tobogganing three times, ate stinky cheese, drank beer, and slept. A well needed mini-vacation.
But I felt my mini-vacation started during the second service on Christmas Eve. The first service (5:30) was a zoo. Every seat was filled. More seats were then added, which were filled immediately. 30 people were sitting along the edge of the sanctuary. I’ve never seen the church so full.
My eyes started to droop while watching folks pile in.
It’s been noted to me that the Holy Spirit gathers people to church on Christmas Eve. If they’re worshipping then, hey, it’s all to God’s glory.
So, why doesn’t God gather these same people on, say, Pentecost 21?
5:30 was a wonderful, energetic service. God was real and was being worshipped, rather than worshipping Christmas carols and Christmassy feelings.
But the 8:00 service was my service. At least where I was able to truly worship. The church was only about half full. No one was really singing to loudly – or at all. People were spread out all over the sanctuary rather than huddled together as a church family.
Nevertheless, God’s Spirit was stirring. And I found myself lost in worship. Which is rare for me. It wasn’t just because my sermon fit more snuggly in my mouth, or because I felt less pressure to “perform” when the crowd is smaller.
It was because God Spirit surprised me. Maybe that’s what Christmas is all about.