"Joy to the world! The Lord is come."
Christmas is a special time of year, a time to celebrate the joy that was brought to the world by the birth of our Savior. For you as a church, Christmas also often means a spike in attendance numbers, putting together a special program, making sure parking lot procedures are in place and your welcome team is prepared. It can mean having extra staff on hand for children's ministry, extra service times, extra chairs, extra coffee ... extra effort. And often, after the carols have been sung and the candles extinguished ... it can feel like all you have to show for it is wax on your floors and a whole lot of decorations to take down.
But, as always, We believe you and the work you do matter. So, we've asked some members of the Fishhook team to write out their favorite church related Christmas memories. Because, we truly believe that, even as attendance numbers settle back to normal and decorations go back in their boxes, the memories made at your church during Christmas time are lights that shine on for years to come.
Growing up, our church would always go door-to-door Christmas caroling.
We'd begin at the local nursing home (which was supremely uncomfortable for me as a child), then tour the rural neighborhood in a caravan of cars and pickup trucks, stopping every year to sing for the same elderly residents in our community. Many of our listeners would stay inside behind closed doors to stay warm from the cold, but we'd always hear a muffled, "God bless you!" after the last rousing rendition of 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.' We'd finish the evening by attending a midnight Christmas Eve service at a neighborhood Methodist church, then rushing home to guzzle hot chocolate and open stocking presents around the tree.
I'll always remember singing in the children's programs growing up, feeling so special to be up on the stage performing.
Now when I see the kids sing each year at our church, it is so sweet and reminds me of those times. I will melt when our daughter is up there in a few years.
As a family, we go to a Christmas Eve service every year where we sing carols, hear a short message and end with our dark sanctuary glowing from the light of candles we each hold.
As a kid, my family celebrated Christmas, but we did not recognize the deity of Christ.
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