windowThe choir stood in line, ready to enter the sanctuary for Christmas Eve service. But what was that sound? The rapid beeping increased to a wail before I realized it was the fire alarm. Move two candelabras and you add a fire engine full of firemen to your evening service.

How do follow up something like that?

Not surprisingly, we did our best. This was, after all, Christmas Eve. The choir performed a cantata. Pastor Carol delivered a masterful sermon. We celebrated Holy Communion. All of this we did for the glory of God.

Yet when the Presence joined us, it was still and small and witnessed by only a few.

We end Christmas Eve service by darkening our sanctuary. The overhead lights are turned off with the flip of a switch. The youth process through the church with candle snuffers extinguishing one flame after another until only the Christ candle in the Advent wreath still glows.

Pastor Carol emphasized how this candle symbolizes the light of God. She explained that we can pass this light from one person to another. As she said this, she lit a smaller candle from the Christ candle. She then lit candles for the youth who then lit candles held by members of the congregation. Little by little, the light in the room grew.

When everyone held a gleaming candle, Pastor Carol asked us to hold them overhead. The light in the room grew still brighter. The pastor explained that we can do much the same thing with Christ’s light which glows within us.

Everyone lowered their candles and we sang Silent Night. As the first tentative notes filled the air, a glow came from the stained glass window at the front of the church. Not the whole window. Only one small part was lit – the letters Chi Rho, one of our earliest symbols for Christ.

One of my friends saw and nudged another friend who in turn nudged her husband. Only a handful of people caught a glimpse before the light faded.

Sometimes the voice of God is still and small and not easily heard over either our songs of praise or the wail of a siren. But it only takes a few to Witness His presence and to let other’s know.