Candlelight Service


A slathering of cast off couches await.
Sagging creamy candles flicker joy.
Kitchen counter clothed with cookies.
Folks sneak one as they slowly wander by.
Villagers pile in from off the street,
shouting cheerful greetings ‘cross the room.
The Wise’s share their Christmas letter
Others run to give some little gift.
Still others tell fun stories, making others smile.
Little Violet screws up the courage
to tell me of the hugest Christmas tree.
Her eyes sparkle bright with wonderment.
I am smitten by her timid, happy sharing.
Vivi isn’t here, she’s still in surgery.
There is much concern amidst the joy.
Our prayers waft high above the ceiling,
all crying out that she be healed.
She faces Christmas in the hospital.
That is not the way that it should be.
We don’t always express it very well,
but our love and hope run deep.
The Bloom boys line the purple couch,
from Christopher, the oldest of the cousins,
to Zeke who’s bound to be a fireman.
We may need that department yet,
as we hand out small white candles
from silver steamer trays to tiny hands.
Harried parents choose who may have one.
Some too small kids must wait another year.
Keith and Susan stand off in the corner,
announcing that it’s time to start
No rocking band tonight, just angel voices,
an old guitar to find those first sweet notes.
O Come, O Come, Immanuel
spilling out from lips and hearts.
Mellifluous carols rising to the sky
shushing conversations, calling all to worship.
Eric brings a greeting, basking in the warmth
of the simple pleasure of welcoming.
Keith sings alone for just a verse or two
while Julie searches through the laptop.
She finds the tune among the songs we love
and brings it to the two small screens.
We laugh and join Keith’s lovely solo,
some on key and others not so much.
Once again the ancient words of Scripture
echo through this love filled room.
We revel in God’s grace filled story
a virgin’s baby, the promised gift of life.
The words of Joy to the World reverberate.
as waxen candles melt away.
It’s the last song we had chosen,
but no one wants this time to end.
So again Julie works her magic fingers,
the words of Silent Night close out our eve.
We take a moment to sing Happy Birthday
to the King of kings and Lord of lords.
And as the last refrain still echoes brightly,
I struggle from the old, red chair,
walk up to speak the parting blessing.
The room quiets for those sacred words.
I call out to God to bless his children
and realize then he has and does and will.