If you were on stage right after Andrew said his classic phrase, “grace and peace” at the end of our last Christmas Eve service, you would have heard these words ring out amongst the band and crew members as they shared high fives and hugs. The planning, preparation and execution of our five Christmas Eve services was complete.
And to be honest, it was met with mixed emotions. There’s the relief. Relief that it’s now time to relax and find rest. Relief that the 65+ hour weeks myself and the team had been pulling since the start of December are done. There’s also the emptiness. Emptiness from the focal point of months of work finally coming to a close. Emptiness knowing that in a week everything will be back to normal, the service committed to memory.
But more than anything, there’s an excitement.
We start planning our Christmas services in September, which is pretty crazy. Trust me – listening to Hark The Herald in 25 degree weather is really weird. The reason we invest so much time into what we do because we believe that we have a calling to always push the boundaries of the creative minds we’ve been given. We continually look for new ways to share the life-changing message of Jesus. And the fact that we get to partner with the Holy Spirit in that is, and should always be, infinitely exciting.
We believe that God is consistently calling us to push deeper into what He has for us as innately creative beings, and we count it an honour and a blessing to be able to unite with Him in all that He is doing. We choose to engage in a higher call on us as believers, one that throws aside our own wants, preferences and desires, to create space for those that aren’t yet here.
Because at its core, creativity is an avenue for people. It is an “on-ramp” so-to-speak. When we infuse creativity into our services, we do so to help move people into an encounter with the divine. Creativity is never the focus, but it points to the one who is.
The days get long. The hours pile up. We run into more tech and program issues than you’d probably believe. But at the centre of everything we do is Jesus, and that will always transcend all of it. Cool lights will come and go, music and curtains and flash will fade. And as engaging as they are, if we lack a foundation that’s rooted in Jesus it will always fall flat.
People always ask me after busy seasons, “Are you glad it’s done?” And in a way that question can’t be answered, because it’s never done. There’s always something more, something greater to push towards, a new idea or concept to strive for. And it might sound daunting, but for us, it is incredibly exciting.
Time to start planning the next one.