Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Longing for the Midnight One

photo source
I'm longing for the candlelight midnight Christmas Eve service this year.  The one where at the end, we all sing Silent Night and they turn off all the lights, and the only thing you can really see is the flickering from the candles on the alter, which shine their lights dimly over the red poinsettias.  

All is calm, all is bright...

There is a silence and a reverence here that I cannot seem to capture at the 4pm children's service.  I smile greatly at the parade of sheep and shepherds, of donkeys and camels, of the angels surrounding them all.  My eyes get a bit teary as Mary and Joseph take the stage and I mentally count the years when it might be my daughter's turn.  I think fondly of the time when I played the mother of Jesus, up there on those same altar steps so many years ago.  My Joseph would be my boyfriend for a short stint the next year.  I then shudder at the thought of my baby girls having boyfriends.  Oh my.
As much as I love these thoughts, as much as I love watching my children, as much as I love that there is a service that allows them to celebrate the birth of their Savior, I long for a private moment of worship, of my thoughts being unclouded and undistracted.  Perhaps I am just a romantic at, candles, the scent of flowers...they make me swoon.  They wrap me up tight in love and I can sit there for hours, talking and worshipping and loving Him in the dimly lit sanctuary of the midnight gathering.

I know that there will come a time when I will attend that midnight service and there will be a piece of my heart that longs to be back amongst the children dressed in robes and animals ears.  Don't we always long, at least a little bit, for something that we cannot have right now?  But I take heart, as I type out these longings, the Christmas lights dancing on the tree, that my heart is fashioned for worship and that God loves and accepts it in any form that I can give to Him on Christmas Eve, or any day of the year.

Alone in my house, I give myself the gift that I long for, this gift of worship.  I may not be in the sanctuary of the church, but God is still here, in the sanctuary of my home, candles lit, music softly playing.  All I have to offer Him, laid out of my heart, my mouth open in praise, my mind attune to Him, my Savior born on Christmas morn.

Linking with the lovely Emily at Imperfect Prose.


  1. you seem to dip so easily into the sacred, my dear. you have amazing ways of touching the heart with your words.

    bless you, sister.

  2. I understand. Your expression of these thoughts is beautiful.

  3. I hear you on that! I long for the silence, as well, although I think it's as much for the solitude as anything. The 'festive' Christmas parties are very socially energetic!

  4. Have you thought of enjoying the kids program with them . . . and then sneaking off alone for the midnight service?


  5. i know what you are saying on the candlelight service...i love becomes a very sacred place for me...

    i love childrens programs too...they are so unpredictable and fun...

  6. "a heart fashioned for worship" - that is beautiful and good!

  7. "I long for a private moment of worship, of my thoughts being unclouded and undistracted. Perhaps I am just a romantic at, candles, the scent of flowers..."
    I just love this picture of worship as Romance! Ya know, I COULD do this very thing at home, too. Thanks for a lovely, inspiring post, Jen.

  8. oh friend i long for that private moment of worship too. that reverence which you manage to capture here in this post... may you find this quiet place, this christmas, jen. xo

  9. Such blessing to have and to love both--the festive and the quiet...

  10. Beautiful post! It is pure grace when we are able to be alone worshipping God in the midst of a noisy communty! Patsy from


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