It was an exciting word. A Christmas series for our church based on Dr. Seuss. It’s every kids ministry workers dream. There were so many things I knew we would be able to leverage for our kids ministry but also so many skills I’d use regularly that I knew would help as I stepped into a supportive role for the series.
When I was asked to head up writing scripts for the weekend services leading up to Christmas Eve and our blowout Christmas Eve service as well, I was excited.
That was the next word. That was the first theme word, I and another staff member were given when we were given the task of writing the Christmas Eve services.
Suddenly my excitement was tempered. How could I take a serious topic like hopelessness and present a skit in a way that would be both engaging, entertaining, and also meaningful.
Through a lot of working and hashing through different ideas; we settled on a picture of what hope looks like when things seem hopeless.
In this world that we created named “Whyville”; when our Grinch character made things seem darkest of all the celebration was saved by a few candles being lit in the dark. As the town sings carols with the crowd we wanted to paint a picture, that can be summed up by the words we wrote for the Narrator.
“Hopelessness has seemed as dark as the night. But with only a few candles they fought back darkness with light.”
So we practiced and this week we even did a preview service. And to be honest; I was so excited for all we had pulled off but I was also, a little disappointed.
See I grew up on Chronicles of Narnia and I love using your imagination to paint these beautiful tapestries and stories that symbolize the beauty of the gospel. But as I watched our program from behind a styrofoam snow bank; I was disappointed in the picture the puppets painted.
It wasn’t as vivid as my imagination. I mean we are talking about pure black hopelessness. Like that hopelessness the disciples felt on Good Friday (check out this precious post about that). And Jesus steps into it and brings this beautiful light. Not just that, but if you’re a Christian you’re part of the Church. The vehicle God has chosen to spread that light to a dark world. The city on a hill.
I had this vivid picture in my head but, again, from behind a styrofoam snowbank it didn’t seem to be realized.
Then the first service this morning happened. See we had always practiced with the band, the puppet, even a small crowd at a preview service.
But as I sat behind styrofoam operating two puppets this morning, I was struck by something.
Like the grinch on Mt. Krumpit it hit me like a ton of bricks. It wasn’t the singers on stage or even my fellow puppeteer (who sings every time-beautifully).
It was the audience.
Overpowering the speakers and the instruments. Singing simple Christmas carols. They were so loud. I choked up a little.
It was the picture in my imagination. Hundreds of candles but more importantly hundreds of voices singing about the only one who has ever brought lasting hope into a dark world. See the production was great but for the picture to really be complete it needed people.
And it was beautiful.
Not because of what we had done or written or puppeteered (I don’t think that’s a word).
But because of what God can do with a church who worships Him.
Being able to hear that might be one of the best gifts I get this year.
Merry Christmas! If you haven’t gotten to experience our Christmas Eve services at NewSpring make sure you come out to any of our 4 services tomorrow on Christmas Eve!