" No one ever asked me how it felt to be me, but when I told the truth about that; I felt free!" -The Help

Friday, January 13, 2012


Ahhhh....the holidays.
Some people love 'em. Some people hate 'em.   
This year Christmas was a little different because it was on a Sunday. I don't remember the last time Christmas was on a Sunday. I suppose it was 7 or 8 years ago but I have no memory of it. Probably because I didn't have kids, and let's be honest...Christmas REALLY comes to life when you have kids.  

There was lots of discussion in our "circle" about whether church's should have a service on Christmas.  On one hand, it IS Christmas, you can't cancel church on Christmas!! Right??!
On the other hand, it isn't fair for the church staff to have to work on Christmas either..what about their families, right??! 
Several churches in our small town got creative. One church opened their doors for an hour of "come and go" communion but not a service.  Another church did 2 Christmas eve services and no Christmas day services.  Other churches simply canceled church all together.  Our church did one service at 11:00. Sounds perfect right?.....

Here's the thing about ministry, whether it's Sunday or not, Christmas or not...it seems we are always on call.  I was excited about our little family of 4 being all together in church for Christmas. Ha! What a dream.  About half way through the service an usher comes to my husband and says he needs to go up to the balcony because there are some "unruly" teens up there. Seriously??! For reals??! Fa.La.La.La.La.   Turns out these teens were neighborhood kids whose parents weren't around. Hmmm...I really had to put my attitude in check that morning.  I was frustrated because I was navigating a 4 year old and a baby by myself in "big church". Looking back, somewhere deep down below the frustration, I knew in my heart those teens were right where they needed to be. At church. On Christmas.  Although they probably weren't listening to a word of the sermon, at least they were there.  I am not encouraging unruly teens in church. In fact, it drives me crazy! Yes, they probably would have been better off taking their conversation out in the atrium or passing notes to each other (aka old school texting). But, they were still at church. On Christmas.  I am guessing with these particular students there are a lot worse places they could have been causing trouble.  I don't know what Christmas morning looked like in their home just a few hours earlier, but at that moment they were safe. Safe inside our church. Causing problems..yes. But safe. 

I hope I never get so self absorbed that my memories about Christmas 2011 are more about me chasing my 4 year old and his Thomas train down the isle than the teens up in the balcony who chose to be at church on Christmas. 
I sincerely hope they heard something on that morning that touched their hearts. Even if it was my husband asking them to please be quiet.  

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I loved this! Great reminder:) In the book I'm reading, "Grace Based Parenting", there is a nice big section about what teens look like when they're in church. (I feel like I'm constantly talking about this book. It's amazing!) Anyway, there's a man who gets really upset at the way the kids are dressed and the music and the hats they're wearing, etc. The guy who wrote the book had a discussion with the upset father and essentially told him what you're saying here. It's amazing that those teens choose to be at church on a Sunday morning that they could have easily talked themselves out of. Thanks for the perspective check! Love ya!