Last week at my church, we held our Christmas program. We decided to do something a bit different this year. We had a dinner theater-style program called “Crazy Christmas Classics”. This program has been done in various churches all over the place, and I was introduced to this material last year at my previous church. (I have included a few photos at the end of this article.)
The “Crazy Christmas Classics” music has no spiritual value in and of itself, but it serves as a stark contrast to the true message of Christmas. The “Crazy Christmas Classics” program consists of five songs set to “The Nutcracker” music and describes what we have made Christmas out to be: grandma’s fruitcake recipe, relatives and their “interesting” gifts, ugly sweaters, tons and tons of food, and shopping at the mall. At our church we paired this with our children telling the real Christmas story about Jesus being born.
All this serves as an introduction…
As we were preparing to put this program together, it was chaotic. We had to switch dates. We were recruiting people to help in dances or vignettes. We were dealing with all kinds of conflicts with choir members from schedules to health to just about anything else. We were planning a sit-down meal, so we needed servers. We had to switch the dress rehearsal date. We had sound and a/v issues. And if that doesn’t seem different from any other church’s Christmas production, we had also triple booked the program space with two other ministries on the night of our dress rehearsal. And did I mention that the forecast said 8+ inches of snow was on the way for Sunday!
I arrived at our dress rehearsal right at 6:30pm, and I was in one of the numbers and had choreographed another. On the way to the church, I had tried to stop and grab some food and literally stood in line for 5 minutes while the employees were joking around with a customer who they clearly knew – and were in no hurry to stop the charade. So, I left. Then I got behind a vehicle going 15 miles under the speed limit all the way to our church. I walked in to our Family Life Center and our Upward basketball program was practicing and boxes from a community outreach ministry were all over the place. We knew this was going to happen, but nothing really could have prepared for us for this night. We had people showing up for the first time and not knowing what to do. We had people trying to switch things around at the last-minute, and all the while basketballs bouncing and kids running around. Simply put, it was chaotic. Our leaders held it together as best they could, and our participants did the best they could considering the situation.
Two days later, it was time for the program. It was also the second week of Advent – the week of peace. It was also snowing! In the midst of the chaos on stage and the chaos of the weather, the theme of peace was most appropriate.
The prophet Isaiah said about the coming messiah, “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Then Jesus, Himself, said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He does not want us to be all wound up and frustrated, especially at this time of year. I believe that if we focus on His peace, we can see a very different picture than the chaotic mess the Christmas season has become.
For example, our program, despite its chaotic nature in the planning, preparation, and production was a major win! We had nearly 200+ people stay for the program. Our people laughed. We had nearly 100 people involved in some way or another with the program or the meal. And, they stayed as the snow was coming down! We even had several people say “that was exactly what we needed as a church!”
So, this time of year, the chaos will come. However, I encourage you to look to the Prince of Peace and see things through His eyes, and we will find the peace and joy we desire during this season. Anyway, I was just thinking…
Here are some photos from the program: