Tales from the Great Adventure

a journal of living-like-we-mean-it, by Derek Maul

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Rebekah welcomes (11:00 Christmas Eve communion at WFPC)

 

Well, it’s Christmas Day. But more about that later. Yesterday evening was a beautiful Christmas Eve around Wake Forest, so I slipped into photographer mode at church and captured some images I believe you’ll enjoy. Scroll through the slide show below for the story of the evening in a couple of dozen images.

THE BIG NEWS!

dsc_0136The big news of the day was Rebekah’s return to church. The first two services always involve simply too many people for a quiet reentry, so she came to 11:00 candlelight. However, by the time she’d welcomed everyone, served communion, and offered an amazing pastoral prayer she’d probably talked as much or more than George Dudley, who shared an excellent sermon.

But what joy! I could see Rebekah literally draw energy from the sanctuary full of people. She loves this faith community so much, and it’s so obvious that they feel her love deeply. Nobody left without a hug and a brief conversation, and it was at least 12:30 in the morning before the church finally emptied out.

dsc_0091As providence would have it, each candle in the room was alight, and lifted toward heaven at the exact second the clock turned time from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day.

The moment was perfectly symbolic, as we were singing “Silent Night,” identifying as God’s children equipping ourselves for our return into this ofttimes dark world.

Enjoy the photos – let them inspire you to reconnect with a faith community – and be encouraged to rekindle the flame at every opportunity.

Merry Christmas! – DEREK

 

4 thoughts on “Rebekah makes it back to church – Christmas Eve in Wake Forest

  1. Really great news, Derek. Fantastic. I am especially fond of your reference to Rebekah seemingly drawing energy from the crowd. I believe that wholeheartedly. When I “hibernate” for whatever reason (and I have plenty, believe me), I feel like life has drained from me. I feel less and less connected. I get inside my own head, and often ruminate, yell at myself for being so stupid over all those drug-addled decades (unbelievably four of them), and before I know it I am sitting on a tree stump somewhere (in my head) when the devil comes up and starts telling me everything that’s wrong with me. He lies, he exaggerates, he vacillates. This is the most dangerous place for a down-and-out Christian to be. Alone. Judging himself. Beating himself up. Condemning himself. When I read about Rebekah, and how you could almost see the flow of energy from the congregation to her, it reminded me that when I force myself to get up, make the bed, get a shower, and head out to a meeting or a friend’s house, blaring contemporary Christian songs (Wow Hits collections in my 6-disc in-dash player), I don’t feel so cold and creaky and negative and fatalistic. I come alive all over again just from the energy of a hug. Praise God that we can seek one another out when we’re off on some desert island contemplating all that’s WRONG with the world. This planet is a beautiful place, spun into existence by the hand of the Almighty.
    God bless you and Rebekah. Have a wonderful, grace-filled new year.

    In Christ,

    Steve (aka The Accidental Poet)

    P.S. Please check out my poem Grove of Trees. Here’s a direct link: https://theaccidentalpoet.net/2016/08/09/grove-of-trees/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. derekmaul says:

      Thanks for your good words, Steve. We really were created for community, and we need each other if we are to thrive as God’s children. Looking forward to that wondrous, grace-filled 2017…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Derek, so sorry, I just noticed you did read the poem and send a comment. Thanks and God bless.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t forget to click the link and read my poem. I’m looking for all the feedback I can get.

    Like

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