The kids and I were listening to Mannheim Steamroller Christmas music yesterday — perhaps a little early, yes, but very needed in my line of work. The kids love it and, even more, don’t know better. I’m getting stuff ready for Christmas for Worship Arts and want to be able to give 80% of the music selection list to our music ensembles by the end of this month. It’s so strange to be thinking ahead, but I know I’m not alone in this “Christmas In July” line of thinking:
- Retailers have been planning back to school sales since January. Christmas has been on their radar since Easter.
- Schools are finalizing their semester calendars, trying to decide where exactly the Christmas break will land.
- Rent-a-Santas are getting their suits dry cleaned (hopefully) and practicing their laughs, eating enough now so that their bowl full of jelly will be convincing.
I’m not alone in thinking about Christmas. But I don’t want to get so caught up in the pragmatic/technical/organizational that I miss Advent and Christmas — true Christmas — because I’m worn out by running rehearsals that have been fueled with candy canes and evergreen punch. So I’m planning but also praying — God, what would you have us do this Christmas that will make a difference in the life of your people? How does the music, the drama, the liturgy point people to You? How do we define an environment where many people come to Christ, the core and exalted One of Christmas? What’s the best approach? Don’t let it be about pizazz and clever thinking, cool music and nice decorations. Let these elements point to You.
The best thing about thinking about Christmas in August is the fact that it’s going to be 78 degrees today in Michigan. It’s like December in Florida: balmy and snowless.