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I remember as a little girl being bright-eyed with wonder at the candlelight service on Christmas Eve. The dark sanctuary filled with families and neighbors and sweater-clad strangers standing shoulder to shoulder — waiting. A single flame started in one corner. A tiny flicker in the dim expanse. Then the glowing wick from one candle would touch the waxy tip of the next and the flame would pass.
At the same time, the soothing melody of Silent Night rose from one voice. The crowd joined in. Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright. I waited anxiously, twirling the white candle between my palms. I loved being part of transforming the darkness, of passing on the source of warmth.
Person - Lit - Candlestick - Light - Person
One by one, each person dipped their lit candlestick forward to bring light to the next person. The flames quickly multiplied as one became two, and two became four, and four became eight until all five hundred worshipers were reached.
I look back through my mind’s eye and see my six-year-old freckled face aglow with Christmas awe.
Years - Scene - Body - Christ - Church
Thirty years later and that scene still gets me. How we, the body of Christ, the church, have the joy and privilege of gathering in celebration of the greatest gift ever given because of Christ’s body — the Son of God turned human infant, born to live and die in love and sacrifice. Yet our purpose as believers is not only to gather but to respond, to help spread the Light.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, but this picture of Christmas is at the forefront of my mind. Today we conclude our #1000mercies movement in support of Mercy House Global. At the time of writing this post, together 718 of you have given $28,735 to help provide dignified jobs for women rescued from devasting poverty off...
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