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“For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.”  Isaiah 9:6-7 CSB

We are on the eve of Christ’s birthday.  We have focused our attention on Him all year long.  We’ve struggled, we’ve grown, we’ve rejoiced. Now it is time to prepare our hearts for the celebration of His birth.  I wanted to share a candlelight service with all of you to do just that.

Imagine you are in a dimly lit church, the pastor has just finished speaking about the truth of Jesus.  The choir has shuffled quietly back on to the stage. The candles that were handed out when you walked in the door are now ready to be used.  They are slim, white candles with a paper disk surrounding them to protect your hands from dripping wax. Ushers begin to walk down the aisle, lighting the candles of the person on the end of each row.

I love this simple moment of unity as people share their light with the people next to them.  Soon the entire gathering is holding a lit candle and the lights begin to dim. The first few notes of Franz Gruber’s “Silent Night” begin to float through the silence:

Silent night, holy night

All is calm, all is bright

Round yon Virgin, Mother, Mother and Child

Holy infant so tender and mild

Sleep in heavenly peace.

Sleep in heavenly peace.

[Verse 2]

Silent night, holy night!

Shepherds quake at the sight

Glories stream from heaven afar

Heavenly hosts sing ‘Alleluia!

Christ the Savior is born

Christ the Savior is born

[Verse 3]

Silent night, holy night!

Son of God, love’s pure light

Radiant beams from Thy holy face

With the dawn of redeeming grace

Jesus Lord, at Thy birth

Jesus Lord, at Thy birth

As the pastor steps quietly to the pulpit, he blesses God’s people for the night ahead.  Candle’s are extinguished and people quietly shuffle out of their seats. Their hearts centered on their Lord.

Today I’m going to find rest in candlelight.  How can you find rest today?

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