Kitty Williams, Director of Music Ministries
St. Francis of Assisi once said, “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”
The Christmas eve candlelight service is one of my favorite activities for Christmas celebration.
I remember the first candlelight service in our sanctuary at First United Methodist Church Garland. I think it was 1973.
Back then, there were no safety lights, no glow of cell phones and only boy scouts carried pocket flashlights.
So when the lights were out in the sanctuary, it was really dark!
Back then on Christmas eve, near midnight, after the Christmas story was read, after carols were sung, the sanctuary lights were dimmed and only the lone Christ Candle glowed.
The pastor then recited John 1:1-5:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.
What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
It always amazed me how that single Christ Candle lit the whole sanctuary.
Then as we sang Silent Night, the sanctuary illumined even brighter and brighter.
And finally on the last verse, everyone lifted their candles so that the light became even more brilliant!
Our first Christmas eve Candlelight service began our years-long tradition, which offers the same message of light and life.
The Light came into the world!
We sometimes take for granted the power of lighting a candle in the dark.
A single light allows us to see everything more clearly.
With Christ’ light, we can have hope.
In Jesus, life in the light of God’s grace, this abundant life of peace, hope, joy and love is given.
I want to see the brightness of God. I want to look at Jesus.
Clear sun of righteousness, shine on my path, and show me the way to the Father.
In him there is no darkness at all. The night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God. Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.
I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light
United Methodist Hymnal #206