One of the great joys of this season is gathering as God’s people in worship, to remember and focus on Jesus and his coming – as a baby long ago AND in our lives and times AND in "kingdom come". I love the prayer for the 4th Sunday of Advent, from The Book of Common Prayer, a prayer that talks not about coming home for Christmas, but about Christ making his home in us:
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
This year, our Christmas Eve theme is "Room at the Inn". We have scheduled three different services, each of which will include Candlelight and Holy Communion:
6:00 p.m., "Traditions" with our Chancel and Bell Choirs
Nativity Procession by the youth
8:00 p.m., "Celebrations" featuring our Praise Team
Solo by Marsha Winters
11:00 p.m., "Reflections," the Service of Lessons and Carols
Solo by Alaina White, duet by Diana White & JP Bohanan
Our Christmas Eve offering this year will go to the United Methodist Home for Children in Mechanicsburg. This home offers high quality care to neglected and abused children and children who are otherwise involved with the courts. The home is in the midst of a capital campaign to construct new one-story housing. What better Christmas Gift for Jesus than a gift to help children most at risk?