The Love and Power of Christmas
The miracle of Christmas fills my heart to nearly bursting and overwhelms my human thoughts every year. The depth of God’s love so far exceeds man’s comprehension some say the love inside us didn’t come from Him. They claim chemicals in the brain produce it or it was implanted in us when we were born. Even if that were so, where did the chemicals or the implant come from? At Christmas more than any other time of the year I’m reminded where this gift comes from.
So many memories of Christmas flood my mind, watching A Christmas Carol on television with my cousin when we were young, cooking the festive foods, wrapping the gifts, sharing with friends and others we didn’t even know. The list goes on and on.
But one stands out. Year after year it’s my favorite time of the season.
It’s Christmas Eve in Georgia. The pots and pans in my kitchen are washed and dried. The rolls of wrapping paper are empty; the presents under the tree. My husband, my daughter and I leave the house and ride on deserted streets into a cold, dark night. We pull into the church parking lot and go inside.
We find a seat in the back, where the woman beside me brushes flour from her skirt. I smile at her and settle into the peacefulness reflected by the Christmas tree glimmering at the altar. Bright green wreaths with red bows line the sanctuary filled with a quiet congregation dressed in red and green. All of the hustle-bustle of the season leaves me as I listen to Isaiah 9: 6, “For unto us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” The minister re-tells the Christmas story, and I think of the sacrifice God made for us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Ushers hand out candles, lighting one on the end of each row. The overhead lights go dim. We pass the flame from one person to another while we sing “Silent Night.” I am still. I rejoice in Jesus’ birth. We finish with, “Sleep in Heavenly peace.” The lights come on, and I glance at my watch. It’s midnight. The choir stands, and the magnificent sound of the “Hallelujah Chorus” sends the love and power of Christmas throughout the church.
Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, she won Clash of the Titles in 2010. Her teen book, Stopped Cold, finished fourth in the 16th Annual Preditors and Editors readers’ poll and was a finalist for the 2013 Grace Awards. She’s published short stories in “Splickety” magazine and Sweet Freedom with a Slice of Peach Cobbler. Some of her published articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums. Visit her web site at http://www.gailpallotta.com
Twitter Gail Pallotta @Hopefulwords