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It's time for tradition.
I'm sitting watching midnight mass from the Vatican on TV. Drinking my (imitation) Bailey's and ice. The girl in Rome is reading the same verses I read in church tonight (except in italian). The tree has been stripped bear of its presents and they are strewn about the living room in various piles.

Sometimes I think, I only like Christmas on Chritmas Eve. When everything is magical and holy. The consumerism doesn't seem that bad when you recieve your gifts and when others enjoy the gifts you bought for them. Christmas Eve is one of my favorite times at church. Tonight, youth group kids played a saxophone and trombone duet, we sang carols and calypso music and Lance Benson played his quiet music nice and loud. The sermon was missing, being replaced by nine bible readings and a Christmas litany from Ireland. And BUMC tradition was observed with the singing of Silent Night while the lights were dimmed and everyone held a candle.

My favorite verse, which was read this evening:

John 1:1-3, 14 (The Message)

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.

3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it...

14The Word became flesh and lived among us.

And the verse I read:

Isaiah 9:2-7 (The Message)

2The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light.

For those who lived in a land of deep shadows--
light! sunbursts of light!


5The boots of all those invading troops,
along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,

Will be piled in a heap and burned,
a fire that will burn for days!

6For a child has been born--for us!
the gift of a son--for us!

He'll take over
the running of the world.

His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
Strong God,
Eternal Father,
Prince of Wholeness.

7His ruling authority will grow,
and there'll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He'll rule from the historic David throne
over that promised kingdom.
He'll put that kingdom on a firm footing
and keep it going
With fair dealing and right living,
beginning now and lasting always.
The zeal of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies
will do all this.

And a little Christmas Song from Dave Matthews

She was his girl; he was her boyfriend. She be his wife and make him her husband. A surprise on the way, any day: one healthy little giggling dribbling baby boy. The wise men came, three made their way. To shower him with love, while he lay in the hay.

Shower him with love love love. Love is all around.

Not very much of his childhood was known. Kept his mother Mary worried, always out on his own. He met another Mary for a reasonable fee, less than reputable as known to be.

His heart full of love love love. Love love is all around.

When Jesus Christ was nailed to his tree, he said "Oh, Daddy-o, I can see how it all soon will be. I came to shed a little light on this darkening scene, instead I fear I've spill the blood of my children all around".

The blood of our children all around

So I'm told, so the story goes, the people he knew were less than golden hearted. Gamblers and robbers, drinkers and jokers, all soul searchers.

Like you and me

Rumors insisted he soon would be, for his deviations taken into custody by the authorities less informed than he. Drinkers and jokers, all soul searchers. Searching for love love love. Love love is all around

Preparations were made, for his celebration day. He said "eat this bread and think of it as me. Drink this wine and dream it will be the blood of our children all around. Father up above, why in all this hatred do you fill me up with love, love, love. Love love's all around. Father up above, why in all this anger do you fill me up with love, fill me love love love. And the blood of our children all around.

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