I have a confession to make. It is something I know will likely cause a loss of respect from many of you. I have not done it often, but the peer pressure was great and in a moment of weakness I gave in. And what is this heinous act, you ask? I went to the mall on Black Friday. That’s right, I joined the masses in search of the deal of all deals to make navigating the crowds worth it. And yes, there were crowds!
I knew what I was in for far before the mall was even in sight as the road leading to the entrance was backed up for nearly a mile. As the traffic inched its way toward the mall itself, I began to notice cars parked in odd places. They were parallel parked on the perimeter roads. They were parked on grassy boulevards and up on curbs. I was fully prepared to take the farthest spot from the mall itself, but it was taken, too. I was seriously considering turning around and going back home and I might have if this particular mall wasn’t an hour from home. There also was the issue that I had family members inside the mall I had dropped off when we first arrived —30 minutes earlier! So I resorted to the only tactic left to find a space, I started car-stalking people walking away from the mall, trailing them stealthily toward their vehicles. Despite the fact that the first stalkee was only returning to his car to drop off his purchases and return to the mall (ugh!), eventually I found a space!
I’d love to tell you that once inside the mall all those people who came in all those cars were barely noticeable, but I’ve seen smaller crowds at Steelers’ playoff games. Seeing the people and the lines made me wonder for a moment why we chose to go to the mall that day. Truthfully, we knew it would be crazy, but sometimes it is just fun to be where the action is. That’s why we go to concerts and games and light-up night celebrations (which we also did on Black Friday night). Being where the action is also explains what I love about Christmas at Pathway.
In this Christmas season we’re going to see lots of action. Some that moves my heart most is the way people give generously of themselves to help others in need. We’ve already seen it with over 100 Pathway volunteers serving 300 meals through our Thanksgiving outreach. If you have been on the Chippewa Campus, you have seen the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes filling up the foyer. Then there is the Angel Tree project, which provides gifts for the children and families of prison inmates at this vital time of year, expressing the love of Christ at the same time. There also is the opportunity to give joy to the world in the form of clean water this season. I hope you will plan to get in on the action and take part in these endeavors.
You are also going to want to get in on the worship action this season. In addition to our regular weekend worship, there will be a special Christmas worship celebration as a part of our services at the Chippewa campus on December 10/11. We will be offering several Christmas Eve services at the Chippewa and Moon campuses as well. We are also planning a special family worship service for Christmas morning. All of this is for the purpose of celebrating Jesus entering into our world as a baby to be a king. Be sure to check out this newsletter or the Pathway website for times and locations.
Have a blessed Christmas season and I hope you often find yourself where the action is!