Luke’s gospel records these words concerning the birth of Jesus, “And (Mary) brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7) I intentionally used the traditional rendition that the KJV (King James Version) provides because I love the whole “swaddling clothes” thing! It has a kind of traditional feel to it. The NIV (New International Version) simply says “cloths.” It’s not the same is it? So, are you in the swaddling crowd, or the cloths? I’m definitely a swaddler!
We’ve titled our Christmas series “Christmas Traditions” because the remarkable birth of Christ is surrounded with so much tradition.
In keeping with that theme, our Christmas Eve services will have a simple, traditional, but not fuddy-duddy feel. We’ll be together as a church family, we’ll sing Christmas carols, and in addition to my brief message, we’ll have the kids gather in front for their own Christmas reading – led by our very own Erin Wible. (That, I promise will not be fuddy-duddy!) The only missing traditions will be Christmas bells and candle lighting. (I’ll have to work on Bob Santy, our pastor of business and finance, about the whole “candles in the worship center thing.” Hey, maybe next year.)
So, whether you’re a “swaddler “or a “cloths-er,” I hope you’ll be here to join us on Christmas Eve as Luke records, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Another KJV reference.)
Lastly, I think it’s worthwhile to note the opportunity to invite friends and neighbors. People who don’t usually go to church are especially open to this during the holidays. If you get a chance to invite a guest, please do!
Gloria in Excelsis Deo, (Sorry, couldn’t resist one more!)
P.S. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. (Luke 2:10 – NIV)
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