What a wonderful Christmassy weekend! Decorating cookies while listening to Christmas music on Friday night and then braving the Saturday morning cold to pass out plates of cookies and candy to the homes of 7 of our neighbors -- with another two plates going to the firefighters and rescue squad around the block. We live in a great neighborhood.
That night was a warm-hearted Christmas Eve service at Grace Bible Church in which I joined our pastor to discuss some of the exciting yet too-often overlooked details of the Bethlehem birth of Jesus. The music at that service included congregational carols, an elegant choir presentation, and “Silent Night” sung by candlelight. Very moving.
The next highlight was our Sunday afternoon church service at Aksarben Village Senior Living. Being Christmas Day, we were expecting a small group but 15 residents (and 2 guests) joined Claire, me, and Don for a terrific service. My short sermon concerned the shepherds and how they partnered with angels in “the triumph of the skies” simply by spreading abroad the good news of a great joy. Our music was superb: Tennessee Ernie Ford and Gordon MacRae doing “O Holy Night,” The Boys’ Choir and orchestra of King’s College in Cambridge doing “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” The Soundiva Classical Choir out of Italy singing “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and The Celtic Women in a Dublin performance of “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” Also, there were prayers together and a splendid time of visiting before and after the service as we enjoyed coffee, lemonade, and Claire’s Christmas cookies.
Finally, we closed the weekend (and Christmas Day One) with a supper at our home with a few friends – Don and Alberta, Jim and Jean, and Sharon. Roast beef, ham, roasted potatoes, carrots with onions, green beans, green salad, rolls, and desserts of mini-mince pies, Eton Mess, and cookies. Our conversations were lively, stimulating, and full of appreciation for the gift that is the Savior. It was a really great Christmas weekend. And now? Let the celebration of the 12 Days of Christmas kick into gear!