Memorable Eve

Category: By Christian
Yesterday was one of my favorite Christmas Eve's. I was already looking forward to it because we were going to get to go to church, which has historically been one of the things I really look forward to. It goes back to my high school days when Christmas eve started to emerge as a contemplative day for me. The church service was a great chance to slow down and make sure I was centered on Christ, and it became a sort of cornerstone for me.

Yesterday's church service was extra-refreshing. We went to the church that my parents have been attending, and it was absolutely fantastic. The church is six years old, and they lease a building that was the first black church built in Portland. MLK had spoken in that building twice. There is something moving about having an opportunity to worship in a place that is fraught with history both spiritual and social.

The service itself was a lot like what I desire in church experiences. The congregation was multi-cultural and had numerous multi-ethnic families. There was testimony given about the weekly HIV/AIDS ministry that the church has organized. There was liturgy, there was a spoken word performance by one of the members who also happens to be a rap artist who also happens to be an amazing painter who thoroughly outfitted the church with ethnic expressions of Christ. The sermon was solid, the worship was authentic. It was energizing and was a good encouragement to me that it is possible for church to be some of the things that I have come to believe church needs to be.

After church we had our traditional family Christmas Eve dinner. This year, my parents had invited some guests to eat with us who really needed to be there. I really enjoyed the company of our new friends, and it was such a blessing to learn from them and have our family extended for a day. It was a good example of what can happen when people open up their doors and see what God wants to do. It is also a good reminder that I want Christmas to be a formative experience for my kids. Stacy and I have talked about spending some time on Christmas serving as a family so that Christmas can be about more than just stuff and more than just us.

It was a great Christmas Eve. I hope I get to have more just like it.

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