When we squeeze in tight Christmas Eve for our traditional Candlelight and Carols service, I will quietly celebrate the many ways you express hospitality to visitors who will be with us.
As in our own homes, when company arrives, we prepare with our best. You are doing this again this Christmas Eve, with the choir, decorations, greeters at the door and your heartfelt singing of favorite carols. Following the service, I stand at the foot of the stairs as people leave to go home. I wish you could stand there with me to hear person after person express thanks to the congregation for this beautiful night. All who come, especially the visitors, know we have done our very best to make Christmas Eve a special night just for them.
Those saying "Merry Christmas" to me as they leave are saying to all of you how much they appreciate your gift. The hospitality you extend is a sacred gift. Lives are made whole, broken hearts mended, and for one night, the sorrows of the world are held at bay, as we raise candles and voices, to the new born Christ child.
Bless you all.