Tuesday, December 29, 2009


When I listen to people stressing out about the holidays, my heart goes out to them. When did Christmas become more about shopping, gift wrapping, parties rather than about the little baby Jesus?
Have we forgotten what it is about?
Last year at XC, we did a visual movement piece entitled "Christmas Crescendo" (you can see it here). Which simply started with Mary singing to baby Jesus. Then slowly the scenes built to a crescendo of Christmas madness. Decorating a tree, shaking presents, shopping and even Santa and elves with children lining up to have their picture taken with Santa...and the baby simply seems to disappear amid the glitz.
The madness of what we now consider normal Christmas traditions.
Then all the madness stopped.
All that remained center stage was Mary and the baby.

Each year I will deligently work towards keeping that same simple message.
It's really all about the little baby Jesus.

This year we planned a Christmas drama. Then we got snowed out with almost two feet of snow on Christmas Sunday.

Every Saturday our weekend crew rolls in and converts the junior high school auditorium into our worship space. After set-up and sound checks we gather for devotions. This week we simply focused on that moment in time, just after Christ was born. It was just Mary, Joseph and the baby. The angels hadn't appeared to the shepards yet, the wisemen were still traveling towards the star. Just the family wondering what all this was about. Trusting God's word.

So this week, the Sunday after Christmas. this is what our stage looked like. The stage was bare with only a simple wooden stable with a star.
During the prayer before service an idea surfaced. During that last song, "Silent Night", all the lights would fade out and one simple spot would illuminate the star over the stable. We scrambled around to get a ladder, move the stage lights around, re-set lighting cues...

Then during worship, the last verse was sung acapella, the worship leaders stepped backed and all eyes were focused on the star.

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

Now that is what Christmas is really about...