Last week I got my big winter coat with its furry hood out of the closet. I even tracked down my mittens and a hat. I couldn’t find my scarf, so I got out my knitting needles and started to knit myself a new scarf. (I know, I know, I’m an odd duck!) The winter chill is upon us, the season of Advent has dawned, and Christmas is in the air.
In a few short weeks we’ll find ourselves at a Christmas Eve service – we’ll sing along with the children’s choir, ooh and ahhh during the nativity, and place ourselves again under a story - a story that is so very true, one that we remember and re-live every single year. We remember the story of God who came to earth, who took on human flesh in Jesus, and moved into the neighborhood because of love – love for the whole world. The Christmas season is one where we get to place ourselves inside that story. We get to lean close and listen again to the truth of those words spoken to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you…” (Luke 2:10-11) We get to hear those words of “great joy” again and we get to offer them to those around us who may not know of this “great joy for all people.”
Over the next few weeks, we’re rolling out a red carpet to our city, our families, neighbors, co-workers, and our friends. A red carpet that doesn’t begin with an invitation to a Christmas Eve service, but a red carpet that starts earlier at a special Christmas event that each campus is putting on in the month of December.
Christmas Market | Saturday December 2 | Westerville Campus
Christmas Concert in the Round | Friday Dec 8 | Grandview Campus
Women’s Christmas Tea | Thursday Dec 14 | Sawmill Campus
Christmas With Community | Saturday December 16 | East Campus
Christmas Fiesta | Wednesday December 20 | Viña Grandview and Viña Westerville
Many people in our homes, workplaces, schools, friend groups, and neighborhoods like to do special festive things around Christmas time. Maybe you like to do special things around Christmas! Here’s what I’d like to ask you to do. Take 2 minutes and think about the Christmas event happening at your campus. Imagine yourself attending, walking in the door and experiencing the whole event. If you’re at East campus, imagine yourself walking into an event for the whole family – bounce houses, face painting, cookie decorating. If you’re a woman at Sawmill campus, imagine yourself attending a Women’s Christmas tea in the lobby – lovely music, sweet and savory treats. If you’re at Grandview campus, imagine yourself attending an interactive concert – live music, Christmas crafts for kids, hot cocoa. If you’re at one of the Viña campuses, imagine yourself walking into a big Christmas party – food, music, presents for kids. If you’re at Westerville campus, imagine yourself at a Christmas Market with 65 vendors – singer-songwriter performances, local art and goods, and Christmas crafts for kids.
Once you’ve imagined yourself there, think about the people you know who would love to attend something like that with you. It doesn’t matter if they go to church or not. It doesn’t matter if they’re a Christian or not.
Maybe you’re like me and have friends that just aren’t interested in coming to church even though you’ve invited them many times. Maybe consider who would be more likely to come to a Christmas Market or concert, or a Christmas tea, or a Family Christmas event than a traditional church service.
My hope is that people who are not church-goers, people who are far from Jesus, people who are way more ‘left’ or way more ‘right’ than us, people who look different than us, people who live different lives than us, people who are simply looking for fun holiday plans, people who are alone, all come and experience something they didn’t expect. We’re building bridges. We’re creating spaces of fun and joy for the sake of pure connection! And who knows? Maybe at some point in the future, people will look back in the middle of a hard season and remember that random church they visited for that Christmas fiesta or that Christmas concert and will think, “Hmm, I need to talk to someone – I’m going to go back there.”
Pray with us for these special events – that God will do all the above and so much more! Pray that God would fill us with his joy and that we would be radiant with his presence and that people would be so attracted to the Jesus who lives in us!
All the special Christmas events and services are listed on our Christmas website. You can find paper invite cards at your campus as well. You can also click ‘play’ and have the new Behold Christmas album play as background music. You can even add one of the service times to your calendar!