Once upon a dark December, a preacher prepped his sermon for Christmas Eve. Maybe he was tired. Maybe he wished that he could kick back on the sofa and watch a movie with his kids instead. I’m not really sure. But nonetheless, he prepped. And prayed.
And on that Christmas Eve, he spoke those words and Power blew through. On that night, they were the precise words that Jesus would use to snatch a little girl’s heart… a little girl too serious for her own good. A little girl who knew the words already, who had heard and read the same truth since always, but whose heart was ready on that night. Ready to welcome Emmanuel.
It wasn’t an outwardly dramatic conversion by any definition. There was no altar-call. No pressure of every head bowed and every eye closed. There were no public declarations on that day and it’s very possible that the preacher never really knew that anything had changed.
But for a little girl, everything had changed. It was the sprouting of a seed of faith that would hold her fast through the angst of adolescence, the idealism of young adulthood and the bone-deep exhaustion of a stint in full-time ministry (and later– single parenthood). She was not a feeler– that little girl. And still she is not. But that night sparked a knowing deeper than words, deeper than feelings that would hold her through the fragrant springtimes of life and also through the dark, frozen winters.
It was a little girl’s faith on that night. Shiny and new. It’s been beaten up a little around the edges as it’s tumbled through the realities of life and the scrutiny of hard questions. It feels different today– wider and messier, but also very much the same. That night. That sermon. That Power. For one little girl, it changed everything.
So, friends. If you are prepping your sermon for Christmas Eve tonight, be encouraged. Prep and pray and let Power sweep on through. You never know who is listening. And, maybe, for one of them, it will be the night that changes everything.