The Candlelight Service

All well that ends well

The carpet smell was fresh during this Christmas Eve service because it was installed in the sanctuary four days ago.

Christmas Eve came and the church filled with worshipers for the annual candlelight service. The schedule was similar to a Sunday morning worship service except this service ended with parishioners lighting candles one by one and singing Silent Night.

The service one went off without a hitch until the candle lighting took place. After giving a caution against spilling the wax on the floor and joking about lighting someone else’s hair on fire, the preacher admonished the parishioners to share the Gospel one by one much like the candles were being lit one by one.

Unfortunately, he was more focused on his words than his actions as Theresa Sumter in the second row saw the wax on the preacher’s candle tilting towards spilling. She shouted, “Preacher, your wax!”

The last time the good folks at First Baptist heard words shouted from the pews at any service was when Ned Tomlin’s wife elbowed Ned during a service and he responded with a confused shout, “Amen, Brother Ben, Amen!” But that outburst led to more confusion because the preacher in question, Brother Ben, was speaking about the financial improprieties of our politicians. Fellow parishioners were confused because Tomlin was the local mayor and had been for 32 years. What exactly was Mayor Tomlin amenning?

So, when Ms. Sumter made her excited exclamation, heads turned, including the long and frizzy haired Betty Sue Gaines and portly Tammy Potter, both of whom could ill afford an accident that would mar their reputations as single and eligible women within the congregation.

When their hair caught fire on opposite sides of the sanctuary, though, the ensuing commotion of putting out the fire disrupted the entire spirit of the service. Both ladies took the blaze in stride and the smell of burnt hair must have risen up to God’s nostrils as the burnt offerings of old.

It would certainly be the candlelight service to remember years and decades later after Betty Sue and Tammy were happily married off to their respective human fire extinguishers.



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