What an awesome Christmas Service we had.
The best Christmas Service I have ever been too….ever.
It started off on Wednesday really when Ernie, Bev, Q, Eliot, Jenny and Les and myself set up the ‘winter wonderland’ at the Inglewood Civic Centre.
We have always wanted to ‘black out’ the church and do this, but never been physically able to, until this year.
We ‘blacked out’ the centre by using black curtains and black paper.
Then we installed temporary fairy lights, roping them over the walls, and then strategically placed on the stage.
We installed a great nativity scene, complete with wise men, Mary and Jesus..using a reverse projecter, the congregation saw a stary night scene as a backdrop and fairy lights as stars, as well as mood lighting.
We used some great media, including loops of candles and other Christmassy type stuff.
People from overseas need to realise that for us Aussies, Christmas is normally sun, beach and prawns…..The service was designed to provoke a different response….
Awe, wonder and excitment for the kids…and we handed out battery powered candles for the children, which they got to keep.
That is the physical setup covered…pretty much, except for the fact we also had the service projected into the foyer where there is a huge LCD screen, so it created excitment from when people walked into the building.
Then Eliot and the Soul Jam Choir kicked off the service with a rocking version of “Rock a my Saviour”…which was a great feel for the rest of the service which included contemporary Christmas songs, mixed with rocked up traditional carols….as well as a exemplary item of “O Holy Night” (well done girls!!!)
I spoke on the importance of reflection, what have we done this year, using the lyrics from Lennon’s song, “So this is Christmas, and what have you done, another year over…”
I spoke about the nativity story, and used various scriptures…but mostly talked about how the nativity was only the start…and Jesus ministry did not really begin until 30 years later. I gave testimony to how Jesus and His life inform and provoke my own, provide meaning and purpose for my life. It was a short…(hopefully) humorous message, designed to provoke people to reflect on where their life is going, not matter what their spiritual journey.
We finished the service off with a rocking version of “we wish you a Merry Christmas” and as I shook hands at the door, a huge crowd of happy people, who kicked off their Christmas Day festivities in the best possible way exited. It was a hugely enjoyable service.
However….probably the most exciting news was the offering we took up. There was some concern that we would not raise the necessary $1500 to build one well.
We should not have worried.
People gave more than enough to build two wells.
Our people were generous…and loving. A great Christmas gift to the world.