A blessed Christmas Eve 2020!
2020 is its own unique adjective for Christmas this year.
It’s an understatement to say that no matter where you are, celebrating the birth of Jesus is different this year.
Here are 4 memories I have of Christmas Eve:
1. I remember our first Christmas Eve together.
(My favorite.) Gail and I were married at Christmas time. I did my year of vicarage/internship at Gail’s congregation. (It was a successful year for me!) We sang “O Come All Ye Faithful” at the wedding. For the many years when I was in front of the congregation and not sitting with her or our family on Christmas Eve, I would search for a moment of eye contact—our private knowing moment in the middle of worship—when we would sing this hymn.
2. I remember 11:00 pm Christmas Eve worship at our downtown campus.
We always had a packed sanctuary. We would start with worship services in late afternoon and conclude with “Silent Night” at midnight. Candle light. Stanza two of “Silent Night” sung in German, mindful of our many immigrant family trees.
3. I remember Christmas Eve at San Pablo.
A few years after we had left St. Paul, and had navigated a painful, loss-filled relocation of our urban congregation and the birthing of an autonomous San Pablo, Gail and I went back for Christmas Eve. You can read more detail here. Again, it was a packed sanctuary. We were among only a few English-only worshipers. It was an absolute joy. We cried. Leading through the difficult stuff had been worth it.
4. I remember our PLI leaders across the country and around the world today.
For them, for you we pray. You are loved. Some face great hardship. Some are caught in civil war. Some endure persecution. We pray for them/for you.
Finally, would you remember PLI in your 2020 end-of-year giving? Through you and many more like you, PLI did not miss a beat in training leaders in 2020. Thank you!