Notes from our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
"The invisible, intangible God has made himself visible and tangible in Christ." ~ Carlo Carreto
We were ushered in to Christmas Carols by the Felix Folks. The service began with a moving rendition of O Holy Night by Dana Stroschein. Scripture readings from Isaiah 9:2-7 and Luke 2:1-20 set the tone. After carols, prayers and special music, Pastor Brad opened his heart to share a special message: Shhh.... God is Speaking
Sometimes when people speak they give little clues that indicate this is important. Examples include the teacher who states, "This will be on the final." Or while you are watching television, the beeping sound with scrolling words, "We interrupt this program..."
Pastor Brad has been talking lately about the kingdom of God. God wants to speak to the world about what matters most. And God has spoken to the world through the Christ. As Scripture says, God speaks to us through His son. (Hebrews 1:2) He is the exact imprint of God's very being.
"This is what I am like," God is saying. "If you want to know my heart, my character, my nature... look at Jesus." What God thinks and feels is revealed in Jesus. If you want to know the heart of God, the place to begin is with the life of Jesus.
And here's what you'll find: not just a wise man (though He is), not just a wonderful person (though He is). God became a real human being.
He is a big God, but He speaks in a quiet voice, not a big voice.
Why would God come as a baby instead of with a big splash? Kierkegaard told a story about a king who loved a poor woman who lived in a hovel. He wanted badly to show his love for her, but feared he would overwhelm her if he came in his regal splendor. He traded his palace for a hovel and his robes for rags in order to approach her without frightening her off. The story serves as a metaphor for how God reaches out to us in Jesus as detailed in this beautiful passage from Philippians 2:5-11
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
God set aside His glory for ragged sin-filled peasants like you and me.
God in Jesus is speaking to the world.
The author of this blog had been told that the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at New Life Covenant was a very special service. And indeed it was. Merry Christmas and blessings to all.