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Pastor poses choices at Christmas Eve service

Pastor poses choices at Christmas Eve service

Service takes place at Calvary Episcopal Church
Pastor poses choices at Christmas Eve service
Deacon Rev. Laurie Barlett gives communion during a Christmas Eve service at Episcopal Church.
Photographer: Erica Miller

BURNT HILLS – Rev. Gabriel Morrow wanted to relay a simple message during his Christmas Eve sermon at the Calvary Episcopal Church on Monday.

Morrow wanted the approximately 50 people who attended the service to think about their own lives, especially those who had a lot going on. He gave them four choices, all of which related to how Jesus Christ could help them in their lives.

The first was whether they were seeking a wonderful counselor, Morrow said.

“Some of you may even need wise counsel with whatever is occupying your mind tonight,” Morrow said. “You need someone to help you figure it out.”

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The second choice was for those in the church that evening who were feeling vulnerable and might need a mighty God. Whether they might feel physically, emotionally or even spiritually weak, they may need the option of something that could give them strength.

Morrow said people will try and put their trust and faith in other people. But, unfortunately, he said people will sometimes fail each other.

“We need something that is mighty and strong because we feel weak,” Morrow said.

The third choice, Morrow said, was having an everlasting father.

Morrow said he didn’t mean this in the sense of people and their actual fathers, mothers, siblings or friends, because those do eventually go away. Or, for some, those people left a lot to be desired in their lives.

Some people need something that never goes away. Something that would last forever.

The last choice, Morrow said, was those who needed a prince of peace.

Morrow wanted people to focus on the second part, which was the need for peace.

“We know what it’s like not to be peaceful,” Morrow said. “Some of us live that every day. They live tumultuous lives where the resemblance of peace is long gone.”

Morrow told the gathering that Jesus would be able to provide that sort of peace and stability many are looking for.

After giving those in attendance the four choices, he asked them to close their eyes and be silent. He wanted them to allow God to speak to them and tell them which choice they would need.

The choices posed by Morrow were a first for Halfmoon resident Margie Wheeler, who said Calvary Episcopal Church was her regular church. She said they were ones she had never been faced with.

“For me, it was quite enlightening and I thought that I’ve got something to think about,” Wheeler said.

With snow falling as Wheeler walked to her car following the sermon, she said she most likely needs a wonderful counselor in her life. If she gave it a little more thought, Wheeler said she might need some of the other options, but it was the choice of the counselor that stuck with her the most.

“Just because there’s been a lot going on in my life lately,” Wheeler said. “And I have a lot of questions that I need answers to.”

At one point during the service, the lights of the church went off. All that lit the room were the candles held by the acolytes of the church. They then used their candles to help the first person in each pew light their candle. That person then used the candle to help everyone in the row light theirs.

Once everyone had their candles lit, they began singing "Silent Night."

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