“There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them.” Luke 2:8
My favorite Christmas Eve memory happened when I was nearly seventeen and dating the guy who became my husband a couple of years later. From conversation we’d had about “church,” I knew he wasn’t interested in going now–or ever. When he asked me to go out on Christmas Eve, I said, “It’s a family evening, and we go to the 11:00 p.m. service at the Lutheran church.” He was disappointed, because he said he had something he wanted to give me.
I really wanted to go out with Glen–our first Christmas together, but I had a commitment to my family and to the church choir. I couldn’t imagine not singing “Silent Night, Holy Night” in the darkened sanctuary lit only by candles. The evening turned out to be mellow, cold, and cloudy–no moon or a bright star to guide us to church.
After the service I went outside to meet my parents to ride home and was greeted by huge snowflakes. I was thrilled to see the ground covered with fresh a snowfall and Glen waiting at the curb in a familiar shiny turquoise blue car. He grinned and said, “Can I give you a ride home?” We took the long way home, making new tire prints in the snow, as if we were forging a path to the rest of our lives, including over fifty Christmas Eves sitting side by side in church.
Thank you, Lord, for the peace that comes from experiencing the birth of Jesus. Amen.