Sunday, December 24, 2006

The morn of Christmas Eve

Today is quite surreal for me. It is Sunday, but my church doesn't have a service this morning, because it's got a midnight service in the evening. It does have a kiddy carol service in the afternoon but the style of that service won't suit me., so I don't feel like walking or cycling 2.5 miles just to go.

There is a service at my hometown church, but I struggle at that church - the prayers and songs are done in very much the kind of style I criticised in my "Madvent" post. I can handle St. Nick's in small dose. As I will be going to the midnight service at that church, I will skip this morning.

So for the first time in a long while I find my self at a loose end on a Sunday morning.

I'm going to spend a little time cooking up a Christmas blog that I shall post later today, but for the most part I shall be chilling out listening to my Last FM radio station or viewing my Myspace profile.

Most importantly I must remember to walk around St. Nicholas church and pray for the midnight service just before going in. It's a tradition I started two years ago. I went to the service with a couple of friends and was embarrassed because the vicar preached about nothing but store loyalty cards - no mention of Jesus whatsoever. St. Nick's is rocky soil, it is very hard for anything to grow there... I should know, it is where my journey of faith started. I have resolved every year since to walk around the church and pray for that service. Do you know what? The past two years I have done this, have had some of the most evangelical sermons I have heard in that church.

I'm also looking forward to going to church with my sister who would probably describe herself as a lapsed Christian. It is fun because she enjoys joining me on my mission of "positive mischief". When it comes to the prayers, she will say them slowly with me, rather than race through them in a single breath like everyone else - for pities sake we are talking to God, not commentating on a horse race! We will both belt out the carols at the top of our voices... and we will both miss out the line of "Once in Royal David's City", that I theologically disagree with.

So apart from having an opportunity to praise God, I also have an opportunity to be a bit of a rogue (albeit for the right reasons), and to have a lot of fun.

Don't be deceived into thinking the Christmas tradition of the Midnight service is dull... if you know what you are doing it is anything but dull.

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