Thursday, December 13
Every Advent during our time in Savannah, I cherished two moments on Christmas Eve. The first was that lump-in-the-throat instant when we sang, “Silent night, holy night, wondrous star, lend thy light” and hundreds of hands lifted glowing candles. Light danced to the music and we believed Christ had come.
The other moment occurred when the congregation assembled on the front steps. The last notes of “Congregation Arise” floated from organ to still, cold air and we sang the Good News again. Our voices may not have carried much further than the edges of Chippewa Square, but I believed the whole world could hear our joyous tidings.
I wanted to sing all night, but we dispersed to homes and parties. Years later I understood that only in the scattering of the “risen congregation” was the Good News spread far and wide. When the people of First Baptist went to their homes, their schools, their work, and their play the music was heard because the song was sung in deeds of kindness and acts of justice.
I keep those Christmas Eve services close to my heart and still feel the chill of the night air and the warmth of good fellowship. And I still hear the Good News being sung by a congregation that continues to arise and share the gospel with compassion and grace.
– Jody Wright