Gathering to show Jesus as the Light of the world, the first annual Christmas on the Square was an excellent unifying moment in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
The group gathered at 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 18 on the steps of the Rockingham County Circuit Court, with the opening prayer offered by Pastor Kerry Willis, Vision Pastor of Harrisonburg First Church of the Nazarene (HFCN). Worship was led in English and Spanish simultaneously by the members of the HFCN Worship Team, starting with “Joy To The World” and leading into “Hark The Herald Angels Sing!”
The crowd numbered 125 when Pastor Tim McAvoy, Senior Pastor at New Beginnings Church, introduced Hank Harwell, Major with the Salvation Army, to share. Major Hank’s encouragement was interpreted into Spanish, as he thanked the community for their support in 2016 and shared what the future holds for the ministry in 2017. Major Hank stated that the Salvation Army exists to share the Good News of Jesus Christ through their various ministries, and the Salvation Army continues to operate through the generosity of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Pastor Tim returned briefly to ask the crowd to consider giving a gift to the Salvation Army in one of their kettles.
As the main speaker, Steve then shared his heart and passion for the reason of the season with the crowd: Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The crowd responded enthusiastically to the true claims of who Jesus is and how He has saved each of us. Steve emphasized that Jesus died for each one of us, and He died for you. “And, if you were the only one He would have died for, He would have done it!” Steve stated during his message. The crowd was encouraged to rededicate their walks to God during this Advent season.
After Steve encouraged the crowd, the HFCN Worship Team continued by sharing “Away in a Manager.” During the last song of “Silent Night! Holy Night!”, the crowd prepared the candles they brought, with extra candles also made available, to light as a reminder of Jesus.
His gift of coming to earth to sleep in a manager for his first night of life eventually led to Jesus’ gift on the cross 33 years later. May we be encouraged to remember and share the greatest gift in this life: Light for the world that broke through the darkness and showed us the way to life!
After the event ended, the crowd socialized and enjoyed fellowship together before leaving Court Square. Steve is encouraged to make this event an annual event, with the Second Annual Christmas on the Square tentatively set for December 17, 2017.
Photos provided by Charlie Joseph and Terry-Lynn Wyant Vargo