On his Blog Be the Gospel , Jay Sauser wrote a blog a few days ago about Christmas Traditions that put me in the Christmas mood far beyond anything else this year. As I read about the Traditions he has and those of the guys who left comments, it really got me thinking about the traditions in my own life.
My wife and I have only been married 6 months (actually 6 months and 2 days now), which isn’t a long time, I know, but we have been together for several years. What is amazing to me is that it wasn’t until this year that we really started talking about traditions and I was able to share one of my families Christmas Eve traditions with her. I’m sure that anyone who grew up as a Pastor’s kid can probably relate with this, but since my wife didn’t she thinks its crazy.
Christmas Eve means one thing to a Pastor’s Family; Christmas Eve Service. Growing up, my dad usually had at least 3 services to preach, and my mom would often try and go to all of them with him, though us kids wouldn’t go until the last service. Well by the time that service ended and we were able to get out of there as a family, the only thing left open would usually be Taco Bell, or if we were lucky, Wendy’s. So we would go to Taco Bell, eat as a family, leave a Tip for the cashier, go home, and each open one present.
What has boggled my mind this year in my ministry context is learning that only about 15% of our church goes to the Christmas Eve Service, and we don’t usually have visitors. This concept seems so foreign to me, as growing up, our church always had visitors on Christmas Eve, the families that went to church 3 times a year; Mothers Day, Christmas Eve, and Easter.
Frankly, I don’t know what to make of that. I mean sure, one of the best Christmas Traditions is spending time with Family. And sure, there’s only so many different ways the Christmas Story can be preached. But for me, what I have always loved about the Christmas Eve service is the calm, the break, the peace. I love that its a service that should be focused on getting focused on Christ before the chaos starts back up again. But thats just my view of it.
What are your favorite traditions, and what are your thoughts on the Christmas Eve Service?