This weekend begins the last 12 days of Advent. They’re also the most significant of the season. As our hearts draw closer to Christmas, so do the eyes of those around us begin to pay closer attention to the season. As you plan for your friends, family, and loved ones, make room in your table and schedule for someone who isn’t planning to be anywhere until you invited them.
On Saturday, our children’s ministry hosts “Breakfast in Bethlehem.” It’s a chance to share the Christmas story through food, fellowship, and fun. We’ve invited our Weekday families to participate and encouraged folks to bring friends who aren’t involved in a church. What better way to tell the Christmas story than to participate in the re-telling.
On Sunday, the Christmas musical “A Time for Christmas” is written specifically for people who have no idea what time it really is. That long ago God promised that when the time is right his Son would come… and return. The tickets are free, and there are still plenty left. Invite those who you’ve been sharing with in your Life Group places, phases and pursuits.
On Christmas Eve, we have two distinctly different services designed not only for your loved ones but also for guests as well. What better way to start the season than to invite friends to join you. Even if they already have family and friends, they are likely looking for a place to stop, enjoy, and reflect on the Christ of Christmas. Both services are Christmas casual. At 4:00PM, we’ll have a spontaneous nativity. If you were with us last year, you will remember that children put on improvised costumes and helped me retell the Christmas story. Rhonda invites anyone with musical talent to come early and be a part of the pre-service music. Doors will open at 3:30. You’ll be out by 5:00, in plenty of time to take pictures around the tree or visit with loved ones. At 6:00PM, our traditional candlelight Christmas Eve service will feature traditional carols, reading of the Christmas story, and a message from yours truly called, “ChristmasTime.”
In August, we practiced the “5 minute rule” and the “15 foot rule.” Take 5 minutes after each service to look around your pew and share in the Welcome Center. Talk with those who are here about the importance of the season. Use the 15 foot rule as you pass people in the hallway. Wish them “Merry Christmas!” and offer encouragement.
Legend has it that the song “The 12 days of Christmas” was code language for Christians
celebrating the holy-days in places where they did not share the meaning of the season. Let’s use these 12 days of Advent to invite people to experience ChristmasTime.