Longest Night Worship Service

In our minds and imaginations, Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration. And yet, the Christmas mania that comes from much that surrounds us seems distant from the significance of a particular child’s birth in a little town called Bethlehem long ago. Or there are some who may feel like the time of excitement does not meet them where they are because of struggles with loss, loneliness, or depression.  All of us at one time or another can understand the mindset of the Grinch or of Ebenezer Scrooge – “Bah, humbug!”  

The Longest Night Worship Service next Wednesday evening, December 20 (yes, the 20th, not the 21st) at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary is for all those who feel the need of greater hope and light during the Christmas season. It’s for those living in pain, those filled with questions and doubts, those longing for a time of contemplation to try to make sense of our world and their lives. It’s also for their friends and loved ones, for all those journeying alongside someone who finds the season difficult for whatever reason.

The name of the service – Longest Night – comes from its proximity to the winter solstice: the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Yet the name also serves as a testimony for all who are experiencing their own season of extended darkness.  It’s a service of gathering for all those who want to not be walking this difficult journey alone.

All are invited to come lay our struggles before the God who meets us where we are. The significance of Immanuel, God with us, is particularly important when we find ourselves overwhelmed or underwhelmed by the season. On this evening we will light candles, sing, and pray, express our doubts and our hopes, as we seek the peace of God’s presence which can transform the world and each one of us. A candlelit labyrinth for walking prayer will be set up on the church lawn from 5-8 that evening. Please come to celebrate the babe born in Bethlehem and in us.

Livestreaming of the service will be available through this link: www.bmpc.org/livestream.