I think this Christmas Eve was the second time we have done a Christmas Eve service at North Side. This year, we got to have it in the new auditorium, which was good since we were near full. It was an incredible time of worship together!
We had a couple of fantastic videos to watch, the choir sang four selections filled with holiday cheer, Jeff split up his message into three bite-size packages, and we also worshiped together as a family. I knew it was going to be a special night when I went out to the balcony to pray and saw people coming in over 45 minutes early just to experience community in the commons.
During the month of December, I was really concerned about worship at North Side. When people sing Christmas carols, it is very easy to go in auto-pilot mode with the words they sing. It’s almost like these are folk songs that we are mandated by the calendar to sing, and we can easily go through the motions.
It’s very easy to sing these familiar songs that warm our hearts without ever engaging our God.
But not on Christmas Eve. I think Jeff just set the night up perfectly and I believe people truly came around Jesus and worshiped him with everything they had. When we ended the night with a medley of “How Great is Our God” and “O Come Let Us Adore Him,” I honestly thought that the room was about to blow off the building and we were going to be able to worship under the stars. It might have been that leading behind the keys right in front of Jamie on the drum set caused me to think it was a little more intense than what it actually was. But I don’t think so.
I looked out into peoples’ eyes who were truly worshiping. People crying, lifting their hands, celebrating with joy, letting the song wear them out versus wearing out a song – it was worship. It was loud. It was genuine.
When Josh came up to me afterwards and asked me, “Man, what happenned in there? You could really feel something.”
I think it has to do with the fact that when we truly stop and reflect on what Jesus has done and how he has changed our lives – worship erupts.
Keep on, erupting, North Side – he has been so good.