Growing up Baptist, I never thought about having a service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. In West Central Texas, we didn’t even get what the Mass in Christmas meant. We were mostly Baptist, Methodist, and Church of Christ. Imagine my surprise fifteen years ago when I first decided to have a Christmas Eve service at a Baptist church. We were in South Texas, Kingsville to be exact. The predominant culture was Roman Catholic, but we had a good group of Baptist folks and other evangelicals in the city. I was surprised to discover that the people I served were excited and enthusiastic about coming to a service on Christmas Eve. I had expected a small mid-week service crowd. We had hundreds come. It was as large as a Sunday morning service. I was not prepared. Serving the Lord’s Supper was like feeding the 5000. I still don’t know how we made it. I have not missed a Christmas Eve since without offering an opportunity for worship and the observance of the Lord’s Supper. Here at Crestview we first observed Christmas Eve with a service in 1995. Once again we were amazed at the crowds. We scrambled to meet the needs of several hundred people. Now we have two services. We are afraid to try to get by with one because of the unpredictability of the numbers and because we have seating for only 800 at the maximum.
This year we are getting calls from people we have never met who want to come and worship. Many are bringing guests from out of town hoping for a word of witness and spiritual encouragement for those they love. Pray that God will touch our hearts. People need the Lord.