We spent the evening singing christmas carols and keeping our thoughts on the TRUE significance of Christmas - the incarnation of God himself, come to earth as the baby Jesus.
We sipped hot chocolate, roasted marshmallows for s'mores, and enjoyed fellowship in an environment that felt nearly like we were in Bethlehem, at the stable where Mary and Joseph found shelter and Christ was born. (okay, minus the concrete and the school chairs)
We even had live animals!
The favorite was this two week-old donkey and his mother!
There were roughly 100 people in attendance. 100 people who worshiped under the stars as the shepherds did. 100 people who could TOUCH and SEE (and smell!)"Away in a Manger". 100 people who chose JESUS over Santa.
Without a doubt, this is exactly how I would choose to spend my Christmas Eves to come! As a church family, we are praying that next year we will have a more prominent location that is visible to passers-by so that even more people can join us!