By Barb Strozewski
At 8 p.m., December 24, 2014 the Christmas Eve service began at the United Church in Edgemont, and some of the highlights are included in the story that follows.
Pastor Tom spoke about different motivations for those of us attending services, such as: those of us who really had a desire to come, those who wanted to want to come, those who wanted to reconnect, and those who were there to please their families. He welcomed all regardless the reason, talked about the birth of baby Jesus and our salvation.
When Pastor Tom called the children to come forward, he talked about the significance of the candy cane and how turned upside down it became a J which stood for Jesus. .
Pastor Tom spoke about something I’ve heard twice before this year. It was most folks don’t pray for huge things because they don’t feel worthy, and how we have a God who can handle huge blessings..
The special music was performed by Cathy Corbett on guitar, Colter Gerard who sang ‘Come Let Us Adore Him’ and Vernus Brown along with Susan Humiston sang ‘Emmanuel’.
Pastor Tom lit his candle, the lights were turned off, and everyone shared the flame of their candle with their neighbor until all the candles were lit and the brightness chased away the darkness. We sang using the light from the candles.
I had not received a candle when coming in because I was several minutes behind the last large group (where I had been blessed to eat dinner). I quietly slipped into the last pew. When the candle lighting began and Pastor Tom came to me, I said I didn’t have a candle. I thought that was the end of it. Not long after that happened, a young woman appeared with candles for those of us who didn’t have one. She said, “here you go Barb”, to which I said, “God bless you”, with the words uttered seeming especially blessed between us on this holy night.
Colter Gerard - wow! This young man has been part of the singing groups I’ve written about this season who have sang to the senior citizens on different occasions, and I had never heard his full voice range until that night. To be able to hear him belt out ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful’ felt like a present given from his heart to all of us in the audience.
I would like to echo the words I heard over and over as we wished each other Merry Christmas, hugged or shook hands, and headed for different vehicles, and different plans for the rest of the evening: “He is amazing, simply amazing.” I imagine they could be meaning either Colter or Jesus or God and all would be correct, and none would be offended.