Eight days ago we had 8,975 people join us for the Christmas Eve services at Granger. I could tell you all about the service, but I thought instead I'd post what my 15-year old daughter, Heather Stevens, wrote about the night...
"The whole service really got to me, through the drama's, the songs, and Pastor Mark's teaching. The message was about time. If you think about it, time is what our life revolves around..making it to that meeting on TIME, having enough TIME to visit that one last store, getting to class on TIME and still having TIME to talk to all your friends. Our life is full of TIME that we can choose to waste or not. But once that TIME is gone, you can't get it back, the transactions are final...it's really gone. So what do you want to do with your time? Stay late after school helping your teacher, so you can get extra credit points that will only last you that semester? or spend that half hour of extra TIME with your family, making memories that will last much longer than a semester..making memories that will last a lifetime.
"At the end of the service, Pastor Mark painted a picture in each of our minds, and I'm going to do my best to paint it in yours:
"It's Christmas time right? And at Christmas time, the idea is to give gifts to those you love, whether they be really simple and full of love, or super complex. You get a Christmas present from one of your best friends, one of the people you look up to the most, and it is a really nice gift. Imagine the best, most amazing, most beautiful gift ever, and multiply that by 10..and that is what you have. You can choose either to accept this gift, or give it back because you don't believe you deserve it. Since it came from a friend you so greatly respected though, you decide to keep the gift. So you take it home with you and try to find a place to put it, but there really isn't anywhere in your home that is worthy of a gift so beautiful and amazing. Finally, you decide on a temporary 'home' for your gift, but after awhile you just can't take it anymore!! You decide to completely re-design your home, so that it CENTERS around this amazing gift that you have been given. The feeling you get after re-decorating your house to center around your gift is amazing, and finally your home is more worthy of this wonderful gift.
"This is similar to what happens when Jesus enters our heart, He is so amazing and wonderful, you need to center your entire life around Him, otherwise it just doesn't fit. Simply accepting Jesus into your heart isn't enough, you need to change everything so your life centers around Him.
"I definitely have not mastered this, but I am trying to get closer to Jesus and center my life around Him everyday. I pray that God gives me wisdom to face my everyday situations, and in turn that I can be a light to those who live in the dark!"
-- Heather Stevens (15-yr old student at Penn High School)
-- December 24, 2008