I have some passionate feelings about eggnog. Maybe a little too passionate.
I think eggnog should make a required appearance at any Christmas-oriented gathering. I think it should be served ice cold. I think it’s well worth the effort to sprinkle a little nutmeg or cinnamon on top for effect. Bottom line, for me, it’s not Christmastime unless I have eggnog.
There’s just one more thing, I only drink eggnog one month out of the year: December. I’m not sure what happens to my taste buds, but if it’s not the month of December, the very thought of eggnog makes my stomach a little queasy. Can you imagine drinking eggnog on the 4th of July? Of course you can’t. It’s just weird.
The strange idiosyncrasies of my taste buds aside, I actually have a point to all of this. As it turns out, a significant portion of your local community feels the way about church that I do about eggnog. For them, the idea of spending time at church in May, August, or October is just plain weird. However, come December 1st, a mysterious change takes place for millions of Americans, and suddenly the idea of spending a little time in church begins to sound…good.
We have a few options, friends. We can roll our eyes at the people who come to church 1 to 2 times a year, or we can begin planning now for this strange annual migration back to church. Frankly, I hope we do the latter. I hope our churches spend September and October planning to see new faces in December. I hope we plan to double-up on our welcome teams, to adjust the language of our church services for people who don’t automatically know what a “narthex” or “altar” are (but I bet they’ve heard of a lobby or a stage). I wonder if we might mail invitations to our nearby neighborhoods inviting them to serve alongside congregants at local mission or join in a special 4-week small group designed for those who don’t know much about Advent. Mostly, I wonder if we’re going to do the hard work and planning it takes to connect with people during a time of year that they don’t think church is such a weird idea.
So what do you say? Let’s spend our fall preparing for December – that holy month when eggnog and church become good ideas.