Christmas Eve is my favorite part of the Christmas season. As a child, we went to church, sang a few old Christmas hymns, someone read the story of the birth of Christ, and then the lights were dimmed. The pastor would light two large candles from the altar candles. He'd pass them to a couple of teenagers pre-chosen for the event. He'd nod to the pianist who would begin Silent Night as the teenagers progressed slowly down the center aisle, holding their large candles. Those on the inside of the pews would light their little candles, then turn and light the candle next to them, and this continued as the congregation sang and the light grew brighter and brighter.
It was a magical moment for me as a child. A holy moment as I grew to understand it better. A life-affirming moment the year I was chosen to hold one of the large candles. An illustration of the Light entering our world. An explanation that made sense to even the youngest in attendance. Christ came to give His light to the world. So simple. So beautiful. So true.
Our churches are full of technology today with movie screens, microphones, powerpoint presentations, wifi, and spotlights. But this Christmas Eve, let's take a moment to remember the simplicity that was the gift of Christ. A light. One Light came into the world and spread, from person to person, to bring us hope.