by Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson
The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). John 1. 41
A Word of
As I contemplate the coming of Christmas Day, I cannot help but think about the countless people who are lonely and alone. I suppose there is no other time that is more painful that Christmas for people to be alone. While other days of the year a person might be fine with being alone, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, by their very nature are about family: biological family, as Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph and family of choice, as were those Jesus called to follow his path in loving God and loving others.
That is why I think it is so profoundly important that we invite people to worship with us on Christmas Eve. Those of us, who know the joy of being in the midst of a church family on the holiest night of the year, certainly shouldn’t keep that joy to ourselves. Study after study tells us that the one reason people come to church is because they are invited by another person.
Those who worship together on Christmas Eve will hear a story of a child born into the world who will give all people hope. We will sing hymns of praise and thanksgiving to God that will lift our spirits and cause our souls to open to receive the very Spirit of God. We will laugh together, sing together, pray together and be reminded that each of us is a child of God. So I want to invite you to do something that can make your Christmas Eve the most meaningful night of the year. Invite someone to church.
Andrew was not the most well-known
disciple, and yet it was Andrew who invited Simon to come and meet Jesus, and it
would be Simon whom Jesus would give the name, Peter, the Rock, upon which the
church would be built. So, I invite you to ask God to show you the one person in
your life that needs an invitation to church on Christmas Eve, and then invite
them. Who knows, you may be inviting someone to come and meet the Christ Child
and it may change their lives, and they, in turn, may change the world.
Emmanuel, descend to me, I pray. Open my heart and my eyes to see the one who needs my invitation the most. Give me courage to offer an invitation of hope and promise, and may God be glorified. Amen.