Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Mary and Joseph Seeking Shelter in Bethlehem; painting by Bento Coelho da Silveira

Let Us Worship Together!

Our Saviour is incredibly pleased to have you join us for live in-person worship inside the Nave and Sanctuary on Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24, at 4:00 pm or 7:30 pm. Both services will also be online via Facebook Livestream!  

Saturday – Christmas Eve Services

Saturday 4:00 pm — Led by Voices of Praise:  Download 4pm Worship Bulletin & Watch Service Here

(Fast forward to 5:20 in the recording for the beginning of service)

Saturday 7:30 pm — Led by Organ, Adult Choir & Handbell Choir:  Download 7:30pm Worship Bulletin & Watch Service Here 

(Fast forward to 5:35 in the recording for the beginning of service)

Readings and Psalms:
Isaiah 9:2-7
Titus 2:11-14
Luke 2:1-20


It Came Upon a Midnight at Burger King

The Rev. Terri Church

“I don’t know how I did it, maybe I’m a robot! It’s just something… you just work. You got to feed these kids and put them through school. I never even thought of missing a day.”

That is what Kevin Ford answered when someone asked him how he was able to work for 27 years without taking a day off. Have you heard about this man? He showed up to work one day earlier this year at Burger King, one of the restaurants he had served at the airport through a management corporation. When the manager learned it was his anniversary, he scrambled to put together a little appreciation gift bag with things like a movie ticket, some candy, and a reusable water cup. He and the manager knew it was way less than he deserved for all his hard work, but he was still grateful for the little tribute. They had cake. It was fun. His coworker posted the thank you video he made—and the world went crazy over it.

  • It wasn’t enough.
  • How could anyone work 27 years without calling in sick at least once?
  • Corporations have lost touch with the lives of their employees.
  • He deserves more!
  • Why would you be grateful for that?
  • Why would anyone work 27 years without taking a day off? (answer—to take care of the children he gained custody of, because it was a company that offered benefits, and, well, it’s just what you do!)

Well, the internet was not pleased with the small tribute and let it be known. Seeing the feedback, his adult daughter created a Go Fund Me account, hoping to raise a few hundred dollars so he could go visit his grandkids.

To date it has raised almost $400,000.

Ford’s response?

“I just can’t believe this. Thank you, thank you everybody. I just want to tell everybody out there, thank you for every cent. Just the thought of watching the video and just having a reason to smile. I want to thank everybody,” he said. “There’s been donations from Australia, the U.K. — all around the world. I just want to say thank you to everybody. It’s just a dream come true. It’s just a whirlwind of love. Spread the love, cause every day you need it.”

He also clarified that he is still grateful for the gift he got from his manager, saying his original video was meant to thank his boss, not complain. “I was just grateful to have it. I’m still grateful!” he said. “I have that [Starbucks] cup in my room!”[i]

Still grateful for the original gift. Still a dedicated employee. Still a bit of a miracle. Still reflects a problem in our society and our world, however. Fast-food staff work long, odd hours, doing stressful, physical labor for a low pay. They help provide the food we eat. And yet, most don’t get health benefits or treatment that makes them want to stay, and many feel the rest of the world looks down on them. They are, in other words, modern day shepherds.

Modern day shepherds

Now in that same region [around Bethlehem] there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for see, I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:8-12 NRSV)

Who were the first people to hear the good news that Jesus was born? Not the president, not the newscasters, not the Fortune 100, not the landlords. No. That messenger, that angel, told the working folks that handled the food for the community (but still managed to annoy the community): the shepherds. And the angel went to the trouble to mention where those shepherds would find the Christ, in a manger, the place the animals come for food.

It is as if the King of kings was born out behind the Jefferson Motel and then placed in a doggie bowl, and then an angel wandered over to Burger King to start getting the news out! My friends, this was a shocking way to tell the story!

So, why does it matter? Why does it matter that an angel appeared out of nowhere, standing among the late-shift food staff, to give the good news we sing all our songs about? It matters because it points out the humble birth of Jesus. It matters because it reminds us Christmas isn’t a story just for the rich, or even the middle class, it isn’t just for Americans or Europeans, it isn’t just for fancy people, but Christmas is for ALL people. It matters because the story of Immanuel—God with us—is tied intricately to food, the Bread of the World who will still be feeding us with his body all these years later.

This story was first told in a way to let us know that God cares about the poor and humble people enough to make them the stars of the show. It matters because this story calls us to care about them, too. It matters because they matter.

Perhaps you will make it a Christmas tradition to care for fast food workers and farmers and anyone else who handles your food. Or maybe you’ll show that they matter every day of the year with gratitude, gift cards, prayers, or politics.

When Kevin Ford’s friend and coworker posted that video, he was saying that Kevin mattered. And it spread like wildfire, allowing many people to jump in to lend a hand. And that led him to go out shouting “Thank you!” to anyone who would listen.

And that’s an awful lot like those first food workers, the shepherds, who went with haste to meet Jesus and then returned shouting the good news to anyone who would listen. Fortunately, some did listen! And they have passed the story along to us. Maybe that’s how the Christmas story will be real to you this year, sending you out with haste to show others they matter, too.

Perhaps YOU are the one who needs to hear today that you matter. If so, remember this: what we celebrate in these holy days is the incredible fact that God did the impossible, incredible thing of becoming a weak, needy human being just like you. Jesus came to experience all the pain, loss, burdens, suffering, and death that we do. In other words, Jesus came to show all of us that we matter. Come, feast on this Meal at the Manger anew this year, remembering that truth: you matter.

My friends, the King of kings at the Burger King cares about you, whoever you are, and loves you just as you are. And may the peace of the Word Made Flesh feed you with all joy and peace in believing, now and forever. Amen.

[i] Viral Burger King Employee Who Never Missed Work in 27 Years Has Tearful Family Reunion on ‘Today’, Amethyst Tate, June 28, 2022, People Magazine,

Liturgical material © 2017 Augsburg Fortress, used by permission of Augsburg Fortress/Sundays and Seasons #SAS009239. Copyright Acknowledgments for print & broadcast: CCLI - Copyright License #2800659 and Streaming License #20585472 (including SongSelect Advanced); and One License #710443-A.

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