A Time Called…Christmas Eve
The stores are closed. There are only a few things left to do. The children have to wait for just one more sleep. At last, we can give ourselves over to the mystery of it all and let the carols, the church, and the story speak to us again.
What is the meaning of Christmas Eve?
No one knows when this service came into being. It is likely, however, that the last night of a preparation time for the festival of Christmas took on the character of a vigil, with people waiting together through the last hours before the coming of Christmas Day. Today, a Christmas Eve service also gives the opportunity to celebrate together when Christmas is not on a Sunday.
Finding Meaning in the Tradition
As we welcome the birth of Jesus, we welcome God’s light breaking into the world’s darkness. We light a Christ candle in the centre of the Advent wreath as a sign of Christ’s birth – the light coming into the world. The story of Jesus’ birth is retold, challenging the limits of possibility. Christmas Eve worship is a time to gather in church with guests and family. We come together at church for many reasons – a desire to know God, curiosity, hope for a new beginning, wonder, nostalgia. The ancient Bible story speaks to each of us, telling us that with God, all things are possible.
Questions for Personal Meditation
- What brought me here tonight?
- What impossibilities in my life could become possibilities with God?
- How can I be a light-bearer in this world?
- What touches me most in this service?
- What is God saying to me?
(Source: The Presbyterian Church in Canada 2007 – used with permission)