I LOVE Christmas Eve church. I always go to the 11:00 service at the church I work at with Kristin and her family. I always sit with her brothers (because she is assisting minister-like every year). And I always feel like the whole service is just one big Christmas hug (if that makes any sense). BUT, when I was a kid the church I went to said that the Bible never said to celebrate Jesus' birthday and so they didn't do anything special AND the church I went to in high school did their special service the Sunday before Christmas and nothing on Christmas Eve. So for me the Christmas Eve service is a choice I've made as an adult and I think that's part of why it means so much to me.
It's kind of weird for me actually. Most days I don't really think about God at all, and even when I do (because I work in a church- it comes up!) it's kind of a here and gone thought. But on Christmas (and Easter, yup I'm one of those people- Chreasters Kristin calls them, who only go to church on Christmas and Easter) I sit in the pew and I can't help but think/pray things like this...
"I know you and I (meaning God and I) don't really spend a lot of time together, and I clearly struggle with the whole God thing, sacrifice and not doing what I want [i.e. list a few sins that I engage in fairly regularly] aren't realy my thing. All the same I am really glad there's this special time. That You are into sacrifice and gave up Heaven to come here to live adn die for people, because hello, you're God, you could totally have just hung out up there pointing and laughing at us and our pointless lives instead."
See, it's weird. Like I see the real meaning, but I can't really take it to heart and I end up standing outside of it all staring in, kind of wishing I could accept it and belong, but not quite being able to do so. Sort of like how I feel with Kristin's family, like I'm ALMOST one of them, but...not really.
And now that I've told way more about my complicated issues than you ever wanted/needed to know, I'll wish you a Happy Christmas and go on with my holiday! Tomorrow, maybe I'll tell you about my trip to Chicago yesterday!