The In younger years when I was a Catholic we would go to Midnight Mass. Such a deep tradition of experiencing the true meaning of Christmas as a family and one in which I always had a special feeling about the day. The singing was awesome, the service was inspiring and of course it didn't hurt that my mother-in-law, in all of her Irish Catholic way, would serve spiked eggnog punch before we attended. That got us going!
As we approach the magical day, The Christmas Service takes on a new meaning to me. I think of the year round selfless service of so many at ATB and in other areas of my life. There is the seemingly always energized Willie Mae who helps so many others and her loving roommate. I remember meeting her and watching the incredible transformation over these past few years into a model server.
Then there are the Combees, the Thomases, The Dowdys, the Thames as well as Chris and Wendy who seem to forever be God's hands and feet to someone else. These people are Christmas all year round, those who understand that the very nature of God was humble and serving from the very birth of Christ. And, of course there is Steve Powell, always opening and closing, riding someone from nowhere to the church or working tirelessly to help out with something.
Finally there is Brother Mark, serving at the Atlanta Union Mission almost every week with such a beautiful spirit of joy. He doesn't ever have to, but the love of Christ compels him to do more, to never be complacent, but always be open to an opportunity to serve. These folks are just a few of my heroes, a few of those who do The Christmas Service all year long.
As we close out this year let us all vow to use the words written in that song about Christmas night, "Oh Come Let Us Adore Him", and let us do it in the way we serve on His behalf!
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.