Before going into vocational ministry, I worked for a large corporation. At the time, it employed approximately 12,000 people. An organization that large has to have multiple layers of management. Most of the time, the polar ends of the workforce were surprisingly in sync with each other. Occasionally though, there was a glaring disconnect between the top and bottom. On those occasions, it was common for some new directive to appear that promised to “change the way we do business.” Many times, the new method would be so short-lived that it would be scrapped before the last group could even be trained in it.
The church has a number of special times during the liturgical calendar that we celebrate. Sometimes I wonder if we get so caught up in the hype of our seasons that we lose sight of the fact these are more than just events. It is easy to move on from one to the next so quickly that the meaning gets put away with the decorations and scenery.
Each time a new initiative gave way to the next in my previous work, I got the impression that Corporate was just trying to convince themselves that they were relevant. In the same way, if we don’t create opportunities to make the special times last beyond their appointed calendar dates, we are elevating our rituals above the reason we consider them special in the first place.
Jesus is absolutely still relevant today, and the church has a role to fill in making that known. The relevance doesn’t come through special events and activities, however. Instead, it comes when we can help people experience a personal relationship that extends well beyond a moment in time and becomes a life-long relationship with the God who became one of us in the person of Jesus Christ.
Christmas is upon us, and tomorrow we will be celebrating in full swing. I pray you worship, enjoy family, exchange gifts, and eat well! It is a wonderful time to experience the joy of the Good News. Merry Christmas to you and yours, now and forever!
The Rev. Randall Monk is the lead pastor of Ekklesia Faith Community in Grovetown.