six or seven months ago, we started talking about what it was going to be like having church services on christmas sunday. all along, i felt we should just have services on christmas eve and then give our people…especially our workers…the freedom to stay home with their families on christmas morning. so what changed?
- we give our families the freedom to stay home every sunday. they didn’t need our permission. north point is always about grace and not guilt.
- church is cancelled on sunday for people all the time…for sickness…for cowboy games…for work…for fishing… for kid’s activities…for out-of-town guests…for vacation travel. like people need my help. nah…
- no. it wasn’t anything about others that made me change my mind. it was all about me. i saw a couple of things in me that weren’t pretty.
- first, i woke up and realized that i was making this decision about numbers. i know that deep down i was feeling that since we would have so many people missing on christmas morning, it wasn’t worth putting all the time in to make it happen. this is an ugly confession to have to make. in my heart, i was no different than any other church leader who gets infatuated with how many people come to “his” church. yuck.
- second, i knew i was going to be exhausted after doing two christmas eve services, and the thought of having a simple, relaxing christmas morning (with no kids or grandkids ) sounded really good! nothing wrong with that, except i could make that same claim of exhaustion on lots of other sundays.
- ultimately, neither one of those reasons held water…for me. if two people…or twenty…or two hundred show up, it’s irrelevant to me. we meet to give thanks and honor to god. we don’t meet to take attendance.
- …and the moment i make what we do as a church family about me, then i’m missing the point.
- so there you have it.
one of the reasons i am sensitive to the feeling of emptiness and sadness that so many people feel during the holidays, is because i know a little of what they feel. i generally struggle with bouts of melancholy all during this season. sometimes it’s because of the hardships of many of the people i share life with…and other times it’s just because, i suppose.
christmas eve services at north point were great. good music. simple message. no flying angels or wandering donkeys on the loose.
our christmas morning service was just right. quintessential north point. a random collection. lots of bright, colorful pajamas. a great max lucado christmas children’s story. jesus was honored appropriately. and we even had first-time visitors. i would have liked to have heard their lunch conversation…
i love being part of a church body that affirms family life and teaches/models love for spouses and children without reservation. but make no mistake. no family member of yours or mine ever died on a cross to give us life.
we are done with christmas songs for the next eleven months. yesssss.
when wanda first started making fudge to give to our church family on christmas eve, it wasn’t a two-day process. if we keep growing, we may have to rent kitchen space from chef ramsey.
advent conspiracy money total has exceeded $23k. this deserves a full blog post later this week. i’m humbled and blown away by the generosity of our church family.
i smoked the best brisket and pork loins yet. great flavor. i think i’m finally getting the hang of it…even though i completely lost a turkey breast because the fire died in the smoker. smoking meat is a great way to keep from thinking too highly of oneself.
the chris paul era of clipper basketball is off to a great start. i’m guardedly optimistic. after two blowout games, though, i’m not sure mavs fans share the same kind of optimism. watching them has been painful.
i’m really glad we had two christmas eve services. it kept me from having to watch the cowboys-eagles game (bad in it’s own right)…and seeing the updated highlights of the chargers-lions debacle for the san diego homeboys. i’m finally fully on the fire norv bandwagon.
i’m calling it here. jeff fisher will be the new charger skipper.
one added note: i just watched drew brees throw a touchdown pass to darren sproles to break the all-time single season yardage mark for nfl quarterbacks. both of them used to be san diego chargers. i think i need some pepto bismol…
have a great post-christmas week!