Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"and.... Oh yeah! ..... Jesus."

Last weekend at a community event we were promoting our upcoming Christmas production, Restoring the Wonder of Jesus.  I learned a lot of things about how our productions are perceived through what I heard people saying as they promoted the services. First,  they considered our services "not traditional" (true),  another that they are considered "really good" (also true - I always hope).  But the last thing I learned was not about our particular production.  It was about me, about the process surrounding large productions, and about what comes out in a moment of chaos. 

I had just arrived at the festival with two kids, about 5 miscellaneous bags and a McDonald's hamburger (my dinner) in tow.  I was running late and feeling terribly irresponsible.  It was one of those moments I now consider par for the coarse in the fall of each year.  The minute I walked up to the table I was hit with the question "Deana, how would you describe this year's Christmas production?"  

In the chaos of the moment my mind was far from centered on the meaning of what we'll be presenting this year and even further from how I would sum it all up in a neatly packaged, marketing savy sentence. 

My mind started racing with the following thoughts:

Well, we're bringing in an awesome African drum and dance group
We'll be showing footage from Nakuru, Kenya where we're building an orphanage
The band is going to ROCK!
We'll have a teaching
Uh-oh... did I just see Connor hit his little brother out of the corner of my eye?
There are beautiful snow globes involved in the marketing 
And we'll use our snow machine

Somehow I tried my best to grab all of those words and tie them up neatly in something like:

"We're going to show how in spite of the fact that for so many around the world wonder seems to be lost in their lives, Christmas really can be a time of wonder and hope for all of us."

The lady I was answering looked at me with a puzzled look.  Looked at the banner behind me "Cypress Meadows Community Church."  And said, "And Jesus.  Isn't it all about Him?!"

I had an instantaneous gut check and then muttered something brilliant like "and... Oh yeah!... Jesus."

But that moment has stuck in my mind ever since and I pray it never leaves.  

Of course, the reality is that Jesus is very much the center of what we are trying to communicate through our Christmas production this year.  But, in the chaos of the moment it is not what came out of my mouth.  

So, if clearly communicating the story of Jesus and His love for us is where we start and it is where we end, how do we keep it the center of our thoughts throughout the process?  

Whether I'm talking about a production, my ministry budget, the things I want to be teaching my children, the way I want to treat my husband or the basis on which I truly want to build my relationships and my life I don't ever want it to be "and... Oh yeah!... Jesus."  

I want Christ's love to not only be what I say but how I am living.  And shouldn't that be the case in the peaceful and in the chaotic moments?

I wish I could go back and get a do-over in talking with the lady at the festival.  If I could I would tell her:

You know, we all long to see true wonder and magic in our world -especially when our world is far from full of wonder.  These feelings seem to stir even deeper in us around the holidays. Christ came into our world on the first Christmas to allow us to believe in that wonder we long for.  He is the hope we are all looking for.  This Christmas we want to remember that this is what we are celebrating.  

It is all about Jesus. 

1 comment:

Dana's Blog said...

I enjoyed your article...btw, I remember the woman with the question:)