We liturgical Christians have been lighting special candles each Sunday of Advent for the past three weeks: The Candle of Joy. The Candle of Hope. The Candle of Expectation. The Candle of Purity. The Candle of Peace.
They come with many names depending on our traditions. But I suggest that we shake this up a little. I would like somebody to light The Candle of Fun.
Advent is supposed to be serious and preparatory – and I’m not talking about the preparation of Christmas dinner. Within the season comes the year’s longest night and I’m a big fan of commemorating Blue Christmas.
But we need some fun – especially in the church.
I remember a lovely elder – a retired Army general – who believed that church was never about fun. It about duty. It was about commitment. It was about sobriety. It was about reverence.
Yes, the 21st Century Church could use more commitment (that’s another post) but the people of God who try to follow Jesus cannot understate The Power of Fun to make connections, bolster relationships, make people happy, and encourage joy. That Candle of Joy is a good idea but joy feels nebulous to as many in the ecclesiastical world as well as the secular world.
Let’s have some fun:
- Treat your town to A Nativity Flash Mob.
- Hot Cocoa Love Bomb a Shelter or a Street Corner
- Sing Carols in a Bar (with permission from the bartenders)
- Secret Santa a stranger (pay for the person behind you in the Starbucks Drive-Thru or the interstate tollway; hand a small gift card to the person who sells newspapers on the corner; clandestinely leave homemade cookies for your boss, your barrista, your local sheriff)
- Turn random things into verbs (e.g. “to Secret Santa”, to “Love Bomb.”)
Church world cannot be all fun, of course. But we can have more of it.
Followers of Jesus are in the Good News business and it’s Good News to bring glad tidings of great joy to people in the form of little treats and unexpected celebrations. Let’s do it.