Our church does not traditionally have a Christmas Eve service. We have encouraged families to find time to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. With that in mind, I want to share with you a simple family Christmas Eve devotion that you can use. Depending on whether you have children at home or not, you can vary who reads or leads each portion.
The opening prayer should be simple and point to the purpose of the family gathering. Something like this: “Dear God, thank you so much for Christmas. As we look forward to giving and receiving gifts, we want to thank you for the greatest gift of all – your Son Jesus. We pray this in His name – Amen.”
Luke 2:1-20 contains the story of the angels appearing to the shepherds to announce the good news of Jesus coming.
3. Write a letter.
If you are having a family devotional, then you have the privilege of being with family. Think of someone you know in your church or community is alone or an elderly couple who has no children living nearby. Take time to write them a letter to remind them that they are loved and not forgotten. Make a plan to deliver the letter to them during the week. You can take cookies or a small gift, but your presence and kindness will be a great gift for them.
4. Light a candle.
If a child is old enough, have them light the candle. Once it is lit, read John 1:1-9 and 8:12. Jesus came as the light to shine in a dark world. He also called His followers to be light and to shine like stars in the darkness. Turn the lights out in the room except for the candles. Warn any small children that you’re going to blow the candle out. Once the room is dark, note just how dark it is. This is the time to remind everyone that the world would be a very dark place without Jesus.
5. Turn on your Christmas tree.
Relight the candle and turn on your Christmas tree. Note how bright the room became. When Jesus is shining (represented by the candle) and we are shining (represented by the lights on the tree) then we bright light and love to the whole world.
If a child is willing to pray, this would be a good time to have him or her thank God for Jesus and to help everyone remember what Christmas is about.
I hope this has been of some help to you. This takes some preparation. Have all the Bible verses looked up and marked. Read over the verses to see if any of the words are challenging and decide how to pronounce them ahead of time. Have a candle and matches or lighter nearby.