By Pastor Taylor Fuerst
My childhood was filled with family traditions on Christmas Eve, like a special dinner out, an evening drive to look at Christmas lights (always marked by a fight between siblings!), and opening our first present before bed. But then, as my brother and I got ready for bed, my Dad went back to sing in the choir for one or two more services. Year after year, when he could have stayed home and relaxed, Dad would head out into the cold to offer his musical gifts to the congregation, and to the newborn king. It was a simple thing, and he probably didn’t know I was paying attention, but as I grew older, I knew I wanted to do that, too. In the most subtle of ways, he taught me that Christmas was not all about me, or my family; it was about the one whom we worship, and to whom we offer our gifts. I’ll never forget when I was finally old enough to join him—just the two of us, getting back in the car at 12:15 a.m., leaving church after experiencing the holy gift of those midnight services. I can still feel the cold of the car seat and the warmth of sharing that time of worship together.