Tonight, it will be as it is every year. The sanctuary lights will be lowered to a soft glow, the candles will be lit, the crowd will hush as they hear the lovely music begin. We will gather – those of us who come to church every time the doors open – those who only darken those doors when somebody they know is getting married – or buried.
We will hear the story, read in the King James version of the Bible, about angels, and shepherds, Mary, Joseph and the rest of the cast. We will think about what it means to be “sore afraid” and perhaps reflect a bit on what fears have gripped us this past year. We will smile as we look at the small nativity scene before us. Babies – one in particular – will be on our mind.
Tonight, it will be as it is every year. Squeezing in a bit of worship between the wrapping of presents, the pumpkin pie, the holiday movies, the family stories. Nothing is new about it – nothing particularly different or unique. Much of the outside world will be too busy or too troubled to take much notice of it.
But that doesn’t make the evening any less special. Because we are doing what people of faith do on this holy, silent night. We are paying homage to a king.
We are bowing in reverent awe not to just any king – but the one we proclaim to be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
In a world that is chock full of tyrants, false idols, puppet kings, and petty dictators – we need this one particular King of Kings – as much as ever.
So, let the festivities begin. Let us warm ourselves in the soft glow of the dimmed lights, let us pick up our small, individual candle, light it, hold it high against any and all darkness, and let us sing – just like we do – each and every year.
Silent Night, Holy Night, all is calm, all is bright…
Even if the world at large – or our own world – can be a pretty, dark place at times.
We have the light.
We are the light.
We are the ones who are to tell our world about the Light that darkness has never understood or overcome.
It’s Christmas. It doesn’t get any better than this.
No matter how many times we do it.