Christmas Eve SERVICE. No Really!
The #1 definition of the word service according to Miriam Webster’s Dictionary is “the occupation or function of serving.” In church circles we’ve turned to the #3 Webster’s definition of “a form followed in worship or in ceremony.” Both are necessary part of practicing faith, but FORM (the attractional, low participatory worship service) is definitely what we tend to be thinking of when we use the words service and church together today. The FUNCTION (being occupied with doing something to meet the need of another) is relegated to us professionals or those who are spiritually mature. This is another topic for another day, but it appears to me that the younger generation of Christ followers are looking for function along with (not instead of) form. I’m part of that generation so I’m really excited about the Christmas Eve SERVICE that my family will be a part of this Thursday.
On Christmas Eve, from 11am-3pm, we will join with several other churches in our region to SERVE the 100’s of homeless in inner city New Orleans. We will be partnering with Brown Bags and Jesus and New Orleans Mission to serve a hot meal and distribute coats, blankets, sock hats, along with caring concern, hope, love, Good News, etc. to homeless men and women who will spend Christmas in a shelter or on the pavement. Can’t think of a better way to worship on Christmas Eve or a better way to teach my boys about the incarnation of Christ.
One of my favorite Christmas passages is Phillipians 2:3-8:
3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
This is Christmas – Jesus Christ laid aside His privileges for the sake of my need and yours. Jesus took the form and function of a servant upon himself for the sake of others and He desires for us to do the same. John 20:21 says,
As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.
To be a sent servant of the Father is more than just attending a religious form. Who are you serving? Whose needs are you occupied with? I’m glad that God in his love, occupied Himself with our needs and sent His son who served and gave and rescued me.
If you’re in the New Orleans area, join us Thursday, 11-3pm. Click here for more details.
You’ll even have time to attend a traditional Christmas Eve Service that evening. Here’s a few I’d recommend in our area:
- Bedico Baptist Church, Ponchatoula, 5pm, Candlelight Service and Lord’s Supper Celebration. www.bedicobaptist.org.
- New Zion Baptist Church, Covington, 6pm, Candlelight Service. www.newzion.net
- First Baptist Covington, 4pm & 6pm. www.fbccov.org.
- First Baptist Mandeville, 5pm & 7pm. www.fbcmandeville.org
- Trinity Baptist Church, Hammond, 6:30pm. www.pumpkincenter.org.