They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Now that the Advent Devotional for 2016 has wrapped up, the discussion came up at our weekly Staff Meeting about our next daily devotional topic. Due to the Christmas season and the fact that I only have a few days left on staff at First Presbyterian, I volunteered to write the devotions for the week of December 26. Over the next few days, I will share “These are a few of my favorite things” when it comes to the Christmas Season. Julie Andrews’ voice starts to ring in my head . . .
Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
One of my favorite things about Christmas is how our sanctuary is decorated for the Christmas Season. I always wanted to have a Christmas wedding but after working in the church for a while, I decided that I better pick a different time of year, especially since I was a staff member. But growing up, I always loved the transformation of our church sanctuary at Christmastime.
Our sanctuary is gorgeous, with the two large Christmas trees decorated in white lights in the front. The garland strung all around the church with red bows always adds such a festive touch. The various nativity scenes meeting you as you walk through the church helps you to remember the true meaning of Christmas. Then there are the poinsettias. To me Christmas and poinsettias go hand and hand. When you think of Christmas Eve at First Pres, I love the end of each service when all of the lights are turned off, we hold up our lit candles and we sing Silent Night together. It gives me chills just thinking about it.
I’ve grown up at First Presbyterian Church, so for all of my life, the sights and sounds of our sanctuary decorated for Christmas is one of my favorite things at Christmas time. Do you have a favorite memory of the church that you grew up in at Christmas time?
Let’s spend today thinking about how much our home church, current church, or any church that we’ve been part of has helped to shape our faith life. Let’s recall the people, the events, the stories, and the memories that come flooding back.
Father of our past, present, and future. We thank You for the church – for the people that help to make up this special place, for the music, the staff, the programs, the Bible studies, and of course the faith building experiences that we get to enjoy. Thank You, Lord, for a safe place to gather each week. Help us Lord, to extend an invitation to those who may not have a church home. Help us to welcome others into the family of Christ. Amen.
~ Amy McKee