Despite the sadness of recent days, preparations continue for our Christmas Eve celebration at the Maryland State Fair.
Each year Christmas Eve is a joyful celebration, but we always strive to be mindful of those who are not joyful. It can be a very difficult holiday for those who mourn. So we always try to shape the service with a range of emotional pitches including both joyful and wistful moments.
This is even more important this year than ever. It is now clear that the enormity of the tragedy in Newtown Connecticut will, rightly, absorb our national attention in the days ahead. Some commemoration or acknowledgement on Christmas Eve will be important.
I remember hearing Pastor Andy Stanley talk about the Sunday after 9/11, churches across the country were filled with people who were coming for…something. But in many places what they got was…nothing…nothing except a reminder that churchworld is irrelevant to their world. The week after that those same churches were back to more or less empty again.
We can’t let that happen on Christmas Eve, when thousands of people who never go to church will be coming to the Cow Palace. We must speak to their felt need and address this tragedy.
But that said, we have no idea what to do. So, while we’re thinking about it, we are most open to your ideas. What do you think we should do? You can post your ideas here on the blog, or, if you prefer, you can send them directly to my office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Let us know what you think.