The birth of Christ was celebrated at the First Christian Church with a special service on Christmas Eve.

About 70 people attended with the sermon including traditional Christmas carols. Interim pastor Phillip Hayes presented the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke and offered a lesson on how Jesus may be missing from lives just as the baby Jesus is often taken and missing from Nativity displays.

Hayes started the service by lighting candles that represent hope, joy, peace and love, as well as a special candle representing Jesus.

The evening concluded with Communion to remember Jesus' crucifixion. Communion was followed by a candlelight ceremony and the singing of "Silent Night."

Hayes said it is important to have special services to remind people of Jesus' birth and resurrection.

Congregation member Mickie Huckins said modern society has fallen away from the church and it is important to keep the traditions of Christmas.

The First Christian Church has held special Christmas Eve services since 1981, and while the service may change a little each year, the message of Christ's love remains the same as does the candlelight ceremony that closes the service.