Today was our church, North Point Community Church’s, annual “Christmas Eve” service. (And, yes, I’m well aware that it’s the 22nd today, although North Point just celebrated today instead of Tuesday.) This service is always fun and full of entertainment, a Christmas celebration more so than a normal church service, and today was exceptionally great…and worth battling the elements for.
To fill in any of you non-Southerners reading out there, it was in the 50s and rainy in Atlanta today. And when I say “rainy,” I mean “RAINY.” It was one of those mornings where I’d usually wake up and think, “Oh, man. Thank God (literally) that North Point streams their services online because only a crazy person would go out in this weather.” But it was the Christmas Eve service (said in a whiny child’s voice), and that’s the sort of thing that just doesn’t have the same impact while wearing your pajamas in bed–even if it has transitioned from the holiday season to monsoon season overnight.
We knew today, the busiest church day of the year coupled with inclement weather, would either be less crazy than expected (because people would ditch to avoid getting soaked) or doubly crazy (because unexpected weather makes us humans act like wild animals). The short story? The wild animals won out. (However, we were part of that pack, so what can I say in defense? :) )
As Ryan and I prepared ourselves and E.V. to make the wet walk from parking lot to church doors, donning rain coats and hiking up our pants, Ryan asked where the umbrella was. Um…you mean the Budweiser umbrella? Because that’s all we got. Yup, we’re that family. The one huddled under the giant beer-brella, baby-in-hand and baby-in-belly, running in the pouring rain to go learn about Jesus’s birth. And, yes, I distinctly saw another dad cracking up at the sight of us as he scooted his family past us in the parking lot. At least someone else had a sense of humor about the situation, too! :)
So, wet umbrella stowed away, seated amongst the soggy masses in a warm sanctuary, we celebrated Jesus’s birth this morning, and it was awesome. Of course, it was more of a Christmas-themed show than a theological sermon, and I could hear my uber-conservative father (who declined the invitation to join us) ranting and raving while the “Christian rock music” (as all the old folks refer to it as, which makes my heart smile a bit) played. The highlight, which I’m still laughing about even now, hours later, was a skit involving kids’ retelling the story of Jesus’s birth…translated into a Christmas carol called “Christmas in Bevelton.” Uh-maz-ing.
If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth your time to check it out; I promise it’ll make you smile. Click here!
When we returned home, soaked to the bone but happier for the experience, E.V. was sad to be stuck indoors. So sad, in fact, that she stared out the backdoor longingly. When I finally joined her quiet, rainy-day protest, I noticed that she hadn’t been focused on the rain, but instead had been hiding the fact that she was playing with a few nativity pieces. When she looked back at me, she had a camel in her hands…and another figurine stuffed in her tiny mouth. Dear God, not Baby Jesus! ;) An obedient child, she spit out the “Baby Jesus,” which thankfully turned out to instead be “Baby Jesus’s sheep,” into my hand and then promptly did a victory dance. Oh, that child can crack me up so easily! We celebrated with a little rainy-day splashing on the back porch–with our Budweiser umbrella of course! I mean, it’s not Christmas without a beer-brella, now is it? :)
Merry Christmas week everybody! Let the festivities begin…