From The Storyteller
Hello All: I share this Christmas Eve story because it represents one of the most generous Christmas gifts Elaine and I have ever received. Enjoy, Doug
“Who do you know in Comanche, Texas?” is the question I was asked every time I told somebody where Elaine and I spent Christmas Eve. My standard response was “Best Western”. We were traveling from a Houston Christmas with our son and family back to Lubbock, and Comanche seemed a good place to stop.
The town of about 4000 is in the middle of nowhere Texas. It has 14 churches - one being United Methodist. We were travel-tired, and our expectations for a powerful worship service that evening were pretty low. I figured there were roughly 40, very traditional locals, who would work hard at slowly singing the usual Christmas hymns, and after a long baby Jesus message, it would end with a candle-lighting version of Silent Night as we quietly exited the building.
I was right about the 40 locals and traditional Christmas music, but Frosty the Snowman, Jingle Bells, and Santa is Coming to Town are not found in the Methodist Hymnal, and those were the songs we started with. The pastor playing the music on the guitar, two other musicians jamming away, and the little kids dancing and singing down front had everyone in the place singing and laughing right along. With a slight pause for a brief opening prayer, we moved right into those traditional hymns., and sang them as if we were the Broadway cast for Hamilton.
I don’t remember the message, but the love and joy that filled that small country church was unmistakable. We were two strangers, staying in a small town, who were able to celebrate the birth of Jesus with a heavenly choir. Sound familiar?