Celebrating birth of Christ, congregants come on Christmas Day

Dec. 25, 2013 @ 03:50 PM

During one of the few Christmas Day services, congregants came to celebrate the cause for the season.
Jack and Debbie Weidman are members of Christus Victor Lutheran Church and attended their second Christmas service Wednesday after moving to Durham 15 months ago. Originally from Maryland, the couple was happy to spend their holiday among the church family.
The retired U.S. postal worker said that his favorite part of this time of year is the holiday music, while his wife enjoys the feelings it inspires.
“It’s just that everyone’s got smiles and it’s the type of air where you see people trying to help each other,” she said.
During the service, Pastor James Huffman added a pop culture touchstone to explain the life of Jesus Christ.
Huffman asked ,“How do we look at Christmas differently than the way we’ve looked at it in the past” and offered WWE star John Cena’s challenge of “Want some? Come get some” as a new perspective.
“Isn’t that basically what the angels said to the wise men,” he asked his congregation.
Huffman continued his analogy, as he explained that Cena has to lose some matches so that other wrestlers have the opportunity to advance, much as Christ gave himself for the salvation of others.
Huffman said that the positioning of Christmas in December was not coincidence but provided the proof needed that the message of Jesus Christ was popular among people.
“We knew that we had a message that could compete with the other messages out there,” Huffman explained. “It’s about life and living. It’s about death and dying and about being a community of faith.
“The birth of this infant and all that came with him turned the world as we had seen it before, upside down,” he continued. “The gifts that come into our lives, they turn things upside down and this is a gift that should, a gift that should turn the world upside down.”
Talking about Jesus Christ’s humble beginnings, Huffman added that his life on earth was not marked by privilege, an attribute that made him accessible to the masses.
“So he can identify with us and we should be able to identify with him,” he said.
Suzanne Arnold, a longtime member of Christus Victor, was festive at the service in her candy cane earrings. She said she appreciates and enjoys the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ the most.
“It’s the gospel of the Lord, celebrating Jesus’s birthday and spreading joy and seeing the innocence of all the kids, and people looking through the innocent eyes of the children,” Arnold said.
Arnold was accompanied by her fiancée Kenny Crabtree as she explained that so often the rigors of everyday life prohibit people from truly enjoying one another.
“Some of that magic comes back at Christmastime,” she said. “I wish we could have it all year long but it’s definitely here at Christmas.”