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Christmas in a Box

Reimagining Christmas Candlelight

Last night, my step-daughter reached out to us looking for some pastoral/parental help. Her husband’s grandmother, like many of us, is struggling with missing the Christmas candlelight service. This is the first time in 51 years she will not be at church on Christmas Eve. Instead, she will spend the evening alone in her nursing home. Her family is looking for ways to bring Christmas candlelight to her via Zoom.

Truth is, most of us will feel a sense of loss tomorrow night when we gather online to light our candles. That is why I wanted to deliver “Christmas in a Box” to as many people as possible this week. There are just a few things in each box, but I think the candles themselves offer a sense of comfort in this already difficult year. Christmas candle lighting is more than a tradition. The candles represent the light of Christ that shines within each of us.

Now, I know Chrismtas doesn’t really come in a box. It’s not something I can wrap up with a ribbon. Christmas is something that comes in our hearts. It is the peace, joy, hope, and love of God made real by the birth of a baby. Made real in us. No matter how difficult this year has been. No matter how many things just wont be the same tomorrow. Christmas will still come.

Our conversations last night were about bringing Christmas Candlelight to a woman in a nursing home, but in a way it was about bringing Christmas Candlelight to everyone. We will be live on Facebook at 7pm, but it occurred to me that I could watch the service again with my family later in the evening. We could even get on Zoom with other family members and share the Facebook service together. Those of you watching live at home tomorrow could do the same with your families. Just use the share screen function to watch together in Zoom. Be sure to have your candles ready so we can welcome the light of Christ together. Any candle you have available will work, even if it isn’t one of the ones from church.

Christmas is coming and will not be stopped by a pandemic. Christ will come to us and live in us. May we all find the hope, joy, love, and peace of Christmas in a new, reimagined, way this year.

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