I would hazard a guess to say this was the stressless Christmas at Inglewood Church, but certainly a good one.
We had a Christmas Eve Eve service (23rd December) at the old Inglewood Church. As you may know, this building is likely sold. I was concerned there may be some grief from some of the old members, so this was an opportunity where I invited them back for a final service. We had well over 40 of the former members come, and the crowd was over 120 people that night, all squeezed into the small chapel!. It was hot…even with the airconditioning on full bore.
But there was a real sense of God’s presence there. I asked the crowd how many of them where married in the old building, and there would have been 20 hands at least go up! There were people there who were married there over 50 years ago!
The most wonderful thing for me was their thankfulness for what we did. We talked about the old times, celebrated what God had done there, and looked forward to the future. I had phone calls the next day of thanks….that doesn’t normally happen! I was so blessed as we saw off the old building in style and gratefulness.
Christmas Day was a great service as well. A big crowd, and a short but joyful service. Eliot and the crew did a wonderful job of the music and worship.
For me Christmas is a key missional time. People are happy, mostly, to talk about Jesus. After all, that is what Christmas is all about. I know some criticise Christmas as being commercialized and straying from its origins. But that does not confront me. I see it as a great time to celebrate Jesus, and the message of love, grace, forgivenss and peace that He brings…today.