In the midst of the Christmas season, excitement slowly builds for an entire month. Lights go up on the housetops, trees are decorated in living rooms, and everyone prepares to celebrate in their own special way. One of the most joyful things about Christmas is the exciting, festive atmosphere that everyone creates. You can’t help but know that something special is coming as everyone begins the celebration preparations.
Traditions are another aspect of the holiday season that we all look forward to with great eagerness. Every family has their own traditions, including those special sweets and snacks that are made every year, driving around to see the spectacular lights, putting up nativities all over the house, ugly Christmas sweaters, gingerbread houses, Christmas movies, Christmas music every day, and many more. We love our traditions and can’t wait to enjoy them once again.
But, there is one thing that surpasses all of these. More than anything we look forward to family and friends. We don’t want to celebrate Christmas; we want to celebrate Christmas together. We want to gather around the piano together and sing praises of the birth of our Savior. We want to gather around the table together and share a meal. We want to gather in the living room and read the story of the birth of Christ together. We want to gather around the tree together and share gifts as a symbol of God’s gift of His Son to us. We want to be together. Who wouldn’t get excited about that?
After all, the message of Christmas and Jesus is a message of togetherness. God wants us all to be together with Him. We are separated from God by sin, but we can be united together with God through Jesus, the Savior. God wants us to be together. Praise God for His indescribable gift, togetherness.
This past Sunday night our church experienced togetherness in a special way. We had our Christmas music program, but it was a little different. In years past, and I’ve been here for 22 years, we have the children’s Christmas program on one night, the student program on another night, and the adult choir on still a different night. It’s a month worth of Christmas celebration by each group that is wonderful. But, this year we had a celebration that is without question my absolute favorite in all of my 22 years here. We had one Christmas celebration with the children’s, student and adult choirs and orchestra and children’s handbells all on the same night. Together. Not just on the same night, but they sang and worshipped and led us in praise of the Savior together. Having the family of God all together in one room celebrating the birth of Christ was so precious and amazing. On this night we may have caught a glimpse of what Heaven will be like….praising God….TOGETHER.