Call to Worship for Christmas Eve


Time to turn off the cell phones.  Time to put the pagers on stun.  It’s even time to put a piece of duct tape on the face of your watch.  It’s Christmas Eve and time is standing still for a moment. 
It is the time, maybe the only time of the year, when here and now drift away and we fall under the spell of story-time. 
Tonight we are both here, AND on a lonely hillside outside of Bethlehem.
Tonight, we are with each other, friends and family, returning students and relatives from far away, AND we are also with the Magi, on a journey and such a hard time for journey. 
Tonight we listen to our choir, AND we listen to choirs of angels, a whole heavenly host of angels we have heard on high. 
Tonight, like every night, is new, a never happening before moment in onrushing time, AND yet, we have been here before, done this before, told this story before, and heard it before. 
There is way that the story we tell tonight is always happening: birth and death and taxes, weary travelers with no place to stay, babies born, sudden signs of grace and glory and surprising generosity. 
The past and the present are closely woven tonight, and we sense the presence of our own eternal selves, our souls perhaps, with our everyday selves tonight. 
And when, at this evening’s end, we pass a visible sign of grace, the light of a candle, from hand to hand, we will see, the radiance and beauty of one another, as seen through the eyes of a timeless love.  
Come, it is Christmas Eve, let us worship together. 

Comments

  1. Tom, with your permission, I'd like to use this Call to Worship for our 2013 Christmas Eve service.
    Joyce Orr, Zion UCC, Cincinnati, Ohio.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tom, with your permission, I'd like to use this Call to Worship for our 2013 Christmas Eve service.
    Joyce Orr, Zion UCC, Cincinnati, Ohio.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Of course, please feel free. Blessings on you and your congregation.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Tom -- Here it is, Christmas Eve 2016, and I would like, with permission, to use your call to worship at our Christmas Eve worship at Monocacy Valley Church (RCA) in Frederick, MD. It's every bit as relevant as when you first published it in 2009!

    Grace and Peace.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mark, of course. I am glad that it might speak to you and the congregation you serve.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello Tom,
    I was looking for a good welcome and invitation to worship for our Christmas Eve worship this year. I was looking for something that really challenged us to think about past, present and future. This invitation speaks so well to that aspect of the Christmas Eve journey. I would like to share it with your permission with my congregation. Seneca United Methodist Church, Seneca, PA
    Thank you and God bless,
    Bill Hastings

    ReplyDelete

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