Christmas is my favorite time of year. And I know I’m not alone in that sentiment. As schools wrap up, corporate businesses prepare for a much needed hiatus and shops and holiday towns gear up for their busiest season – I love seeing how people get caught up in the good things of life: family, friends, generosity and fun.
At the center of this all, however, is a much greater force than expected. Christmas is like a giant whirlwind of festivities and memories – you can get caught up in the loud noise of it all and be swept off your feet by all the iconic sentimentality. But deep in the midst of this wondrous storm lies a central truth: peace and hope for all mankind presented in the arrival of the Almighty God as a baby. That miracle is still in full momentum 2017 years later – having split time in two, that event is continuously drawing humanity by their millions into a glorious, heavenly eternity.
As we began dreaming about how we would present this incredible Christmas story to the nation across four locations, I was impacted by the need to make Christmas personal. So often it can be about the external – keeping up with the expectations of family, the awareness that some are no longer with us, the crowds and the financial pressures. But I believe God has a very deep, personal intent with this Christmas season. God cares about you – not just what you can do, say or give to others. I pray we have crafted a journey that will express his heart to every one of us.
Christmas Spectacular this year is definitely a journey! To be honest when we finally decided on a brief it took me a while to wrap my head around the breadth of what we wanted to achieve. Spec 2017 has highs and lows, Bible stories and Santa, a mind-blowing dance item set in Africa and sentimental ‘jazzy carols in the snow’ moments. Don’t worry, all the favorite acts are still there, but they are all tied together with a very personal story – a journey towards the truth behind Christmas.
Months of planning, writing, rehearsing, designing, sewing, directing, inspiring, prayer and fun have gone into this production. And although it has been hard work – a lot of late nights, challenging content and many many meetings – the heart and desire to present the very best quality show has stayed true. One thing I love about our church is that whatever skill or passion you have, there is a place for you to outwork it. When you come to Christmas Spectacular you will see an army of incredible volunteers giving their all. Some are students, industrial psychologists, fitness consultants, tour guides, film producers, designers and optometrists, moms, dads, kids – whole families; all of whom have set aside their holiday plans to entertain, encourage and bless you this Christmas.
Every year we have thousands walking into an atmosphere where their lives could change. I know many who have invited their neighbors, their family and their colleagues. I know how nervous I am whenever I invite someone to church… You fervently hope that everything is ‘normal’ – that people aren’t weird and that the message of Jesus is shared in a relatable manner. I believe that we will honor that invitation with what our team has created this year.
I pray that you come expectant and excited for Spec this year! It’s a show for the WHOLE family – for the young and the old(er), the seekers and the saved, the hope-filled and the hopeless. Who could you invite this year?
Dave Webster – Creative Director and Powerhouse Leader