Well, most of Christmas went as planned. Church was an adventure. I had decided to try a new church in the area, and I came out half-deaf and feeling like I still hadn't been to a Christmas service. In fact, instead of feeling a heightened spirit of Christmas I wondered if I had just fallen victim to the commercial side of the season. The church had recently been transformed from a World's Gym and comprised of a viewing room full of chairs and a large stage in between two square movie screens. When we walked in Santa Claus music was blaring so loud I thought Tommy would not want to go to church ever again - not because it was boring, but rather because it was too loud. After a couple of minutes a big screen rolled down and covered the stage, and a count-down to the service began. By the time there was only a minute left the lights had dimmed and the music changed, and when time ran out the screen rolled back up to reveal a rock-style band complete with all jeans-clad members clapping their hands over their heads and singing along with the words on the screens. Behind them dry ice or some other magic smoke filled the air. The sermon, if you could call it that, comprised of a big screen showing of the ad for Rocky Balboa and the minister spending half his time on stage wearing boxing gloves, pretending to punch himself out. This isn't to say that I didn't get his message, or that I didn't find some parts humorous, but the actual message sure seemed to get drowned out with all the hype. With the welcome speech to all the podcast and internet viewers, and to those in Australia, we half expected to see the church appear on TV in a few months or years, insanely rich and its highest member suspected of fraud. Next year we're going for something a bit more... traditional. Hopefully we'll have found the right church for us well before then anyway.
Yesterday was far less uneventful, thank goodness, and today brought some much-needed rest. Tomorrow it's back to work until the next holiday weekend. I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with those you love.