By: Pastor Ryan
The evening draws near.
The signs are everywhere.
Our radios and iTunes playlists confirm
Christmas is almost here.
For hundreds of years the faithful (and even the not so faithful, but the still beautiful) have gathered on December 24 to sing carols, to listen to lessons (scripture readings), light candles, and share the joy and warmth this season invokes.
I’m so excited to share Christmas Eve with you this year. For so many 2016 has been a challenging year. Between a tough political campaign (wherever you fall on the political spectrum), the loss of important musicians and artists, and at Bethel you’ve all lost a dear friend and pastor.
The winter and Christmas — which we feel like should feel like a Hallmark Channel show with Candace Cameron as our best friend — can lead us to reflecting about these longer nights and even thinking about darkness.
The beauty of Christmas is that our savior’s birth happens precisely in this long season of darkness. Because darkness, as real and painful or difficult as it may be, is no match for that blessed Christmas morn.
Let’s gather at 5 on December 24. Let’s sing songs. Let’s defy the darkness of the night. Let’s raise our voices in hope. Let’s notice all the twinkling lights in the sky and strung up on all the homes. Let’s allow our hearts to be open to the hope, peace, joy, and love this season and this birth brings. Let’s party.