"…shafts of gold through leafless branches…"

Mood: in a quiet thoughtful yearning…

Weather: bright is the starry Winter`s night…

Reading: Bethlehem (the Nativity story) by Fiona French to the children…

Listening To: O Holy Night by Sufjan Stevens

Tonight was an evening of seeming contrast…

…of a savory meal and joyous carousing that pales before the simple radiance of the LORD`s Supper; the bright warmth of candlelight against the dark cold Winter`s night; an evening of quiet and solemn worship during the pinnacle of American consumerist avarice.

O, night… divine.

In a continuation of the family tradition established as recently as last Christmas, we ventured to a local Chinese restaurant for our Dinner… a welcome indulgence after a long abstinence.

Our tight finances having precluded anything as extravagant as “eating out” since moving here, made it more than satisfying a meal.

Afterwards, we joined the Brethren of our local assembly in honoring and remembering the coming of the Anointed One: Jesus Christ. It was earnest and tender in all the right ways, with strains of delicacy and a depth of passion that I have scarcely felt in a Christmas service.

Following the LORD`s Supper, we sang Silent Night as the pews slowly emptied in a candlelit procession out into the darkness of nightfall – where we continued to sing, holding our candles on the front lawn of the church.

I wondered, as cars streaked by us out on the nearby thoroughfare, how we might appear to the casual observer… a fairly sizable congregation out in front of the church, all holding candles and singing. Ah, well… for me, it was a lovely and moving experience; one that I think shall stay with me for some time.

At the conclusion, our pastor lifted his candle and raised his eyes to the heavens, giving an eloquent and impassioned benediction before we departed in handshake and embracing.

O, night… divine.

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