Why a candlelight service? Well, I believe Christmas is much easier to see by candlelight. In the flicker of soft glowing lights you see things that would be missed in the daylight, and on a night like tonight, you see Christmas.
Giggling little boys are so excited for the arrival of Santa that everything else dims in comparison. Tonight by candlelight, their eyes light up and they are whispers and giggles watching the flickers of light. Their whispered voices clamor to the Mama to let them hold the candle.
The breath-taking sound of a clear bass voice breaks the silence. Full and deep it tells a story of a Silent Night. And you sit and soak it in. The voice transports you to a stable, and in the warm glow of candlelight you see a Baby and His mother. As the voice weaves a story of the First Night you are there. You see the mother comfort the whimper of the Christ Child. “Sleep, Baby, sleep in heavenly peace.”
Tonight, by candlelight, you see Christmas. There is a hush throughout the entire room. As you look on their faces, they are there. Transported by voice and light, they are looking into the manger. Like you, they see the star. Together the stillness is palpable as the voice now asks, “Mary did you know?” Somehow you know she must have known. When she kissed the little baby, she kissed the face of God.
God became man. Somehow by candlelight tonight it is all very clear and so beautiful, it is almost painful.
The song is over, the voices have ended their stories and the candles are put out. The big lights break the spell of the First Night. The laughter and conversations around you signal that it is time to go.
Tonight you saw Christmas by candlelight. Tonight you focused your eyes on things unseen. The temporary vanished and the eternal, by candlelight, was clearly in view. It was beautiful.