For to us a child is born, To us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. -Isaiah 9:6
As we approach this Christmas season I look forward to hearing the message of Jesus’ birth and singing Christmas songs that I love so much. Sheridan’s Christmas Eve services are so very special. So much love, devotion and just plain hard work go into each one of those five services on Christmas Eve. It is truly awe inspiring.
Five years ago my husband and I attended our first Christmas Eve service at Sheridan. That evening I met a lady that I think about often throughout the year. She was attending with her husband and two of her family members. She told me how much she loved coming to this service, although her family doesn’t attend church during the year. She explained that she had not had an easy life and did not feel comfortable attending church. The service was beautiful and when it ended we hugged one another and I told her I would keep her in my prayers.
Ever since that Christmas Eve service, I have watched for her each Sunday but only on Christmas Eve have we found each other again. We are always excited to see one another and we share a hug before we go on our way.
As I look forward to attending the Christmas services this season, I also look forward to seeing my friend again on Christmas Eve. But one thing continues to nag at me. Why does she only attend church on Christmas Eve? What is it that makes her uncomfortable with coming to church at other times? What can I say or do to encourage her to attend more regularly, to hear all the stories and sing the beautiful songs that tell of the love that Jesus has for all of us?
Our world is going through some extremely troubling times right now. Many individuals around us are also going through hard and troubling times. We need to ask Jesus to help us to understand, to accept, and to reach out and let them know we care about them and that they are always welcome. Everyone deserves to know about the love Jesus has for all of us. His birth made this all possible and it is not limited to a certain few. Our Mission Statement at Sheridan is encompassing. We “have been called by God to love deeply, grow spiritually and share abundantly.”
Thank you for the Christmas story and the message of your love for us. Help us share that message with others. Thank you for giving us hope, comforting us with peace and loving us. Amen
This devotion was written by Linda Martindale, a member of Sheridan’s Women’s Ministry Team as a way to encourage women to know, love and serve God.