Old Christmas warms hearts

Published 11:23 pm Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The night that the Christ Child was born so long ago might not have been so different from the icy, cold of Old Christmas night 2010.

Those who attended Old Christmas at Clay Hill Wednesday night were reminded in a very personal way that Mary gave birth to the Savior of the world in a lowly, cold stable.

That’s the way of worship at Old Christmas at Clay Hill. In that way, it puts things into perspective.

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“The service was what Christmas is all about,” said Marilyn Weed, who portrayed Mary on the cold Old Christmas night. “The story, the carols — with all of the glitz and glitter taken away– made Christmas more personal.”

Old lamps and frosty windows set the scene. The music played on traditional instruments set the tone and the scriptures from the Gospels of Luke and Matthew told the story of Christmas night when Jesus was born and Old Christmas when the Wise Men arrived to worship the Christ Child.

“We can tell those who didn’t come that they missed one of the best Old Christmases ever,” said Don Renfroe. “This was a very impressive service.”

Each year, Renfroe is one of the Wise Men, for him, it is a special time of worship and celebration.

Alex and Lee Benton joined Calvin Bodiford and Dan Fraley as musicians for the old-time event.

“We enjoyed being a part of Old Christmas at Clay Hill,” Alex said.

“It’s good to learn about traditions and to help keep them going.”

Lee said being a part of the Old Christmas service will now be a part of the Benton family tradition.

The historic Clay Hill Methodist Church is usually filled on Old Christmas but there were other events that took people away and the extremely cold weather was also a factor.

“But those who came, were blessed, truly blessed,” said the Rev. Michael Lawler, pastor of Brundidge United Methodist Church.

Ron Jackson stilled every heart and touched every heart with the old spiritual “Sweet Little Jesus Boy, Sweet little Holy Child. We didn’t know who you was.”

“Old Christmas is always a very spiritual and uplifting service,” said Mary Adams.

“Even in the cold, hearts are warmed.”