It was Christmas Eve, 2004. The Sanctuary was filled with the sounds of the season—Luke's account of Jesus' birth and carols gladly reminding us of Christmas joy. We were bathed in the warm light of candles. Then, as we all made our way out the heavy doors and into the winter night, a gentle snow began to fall. Silent Night, Holy Night. All is calm, all is bright. For the Wells family, it was only our second Christmas at South Main. Our children thought it must snow every Christmas Eve in Houston. They were heartbroken when I told them 2004 was the only year on record in which it snowed in Houston on Christmas Eve.
As we prepare for Christmas Eve 2020, I am praying this year is unique. If the weather allows, we plan to gather around the fountain to sing carols and hear the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke. If there is inclement weather, we'll stream a virtual service from the Sanctuary. Either way we will not fill the Sanctuary to capacity. We'll not have a young child light the Christ Candle. We'll not be able to hug one another as we wish each other "Merry Christmas."
The most familiar things about Christmas and church will have to wait until 2021. In fact, we are praying that 2021 gives us hope and healing, even as we come home to church together. Some time in 2021 we'll have Sunday School and children's choirs and a meal together in Fellowship Hall. The choir will fill the loft from side to side and front to back, and with unmasked joy we'll greet one another in the Sanctuary.
In order to begin 2021 on the strongest footing, we need to finish 2020 well. We need to give. Specifically, in order to finish the year on the same financial footing we began it, we need to give $732,418 between this morning and the close of business on December 31.
I hope you will join me in praying for the return of things familiar in our life together. And I pray you will join me in giving to South Main as we finish 2020 so we can be as ready as possible to meet the challenges and opportunities of 2021.
grace and truth,