Christmas Eve was a special event for Community Presbyterian Church! We enjoyed 2,500 attenders. We had been praying that everyone would have an encounter with the Lord Jesus. After each service people approached me, some wanting to give their lives to Jesus while others shared this was the first time they considered Eternal Life. Several mentioned they had spiritual goosebumps up their arms and neck. What people did not know was three of our team got sick, so our Worship Director, Kristin, had to improvise. We enjoyed some talent from outside of the church family, including a Disney guitarist at the 5 PM and a contemporary band at 9 PM.
Meanwhile, Christians in Indonesia had the military protecting them from the threat of slaughter. In China the government used Christmas to mobilize an offensive strike against the church. What is surprising is how Christians prioritize being in Jesus’ presence in spite of the threat of imprisonment, torture and death. It reminds me of the Christians in Hebrews 12 who had to endure the forfeiture of property, imprisonment and death. In America many Christians were too busy or too tired to make it to Christmas Eve services, to gather with other saints, because of the stress and schedule of the season. However, I know there was something powerful available for them at each Christmas Eve service.
Why worship God at such great cost? I read about the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office seeking to give money away to rightful owners: the contents of abandoned safety deposit boxes, forgotten bank accounts, security deposit checks, uncashed pay checks and dividend checks. More than a billion dollars is owed to nearly 5 million people and businesses that the Treasurer’s Office could not trace. The paper listed 116 pages of the names of people that each were oved over $100,000!
At Christmas Eve there were treasures available from God to His people. The reminder of their value—that God came to rescue us from our biggest problem in life and that He personally claims us as His people! God is with us and when He came to earth, He never left. His peace, strength, comfort, guidance, love and other spiritual treasures can empower our everyday. God is holding these for you to claim!
-Rev Dr William A Lewis