This year Christmas Eve was very interesting for me. I got to experience a very wide range of Christianity. From Amish to NewPointe.
My day started by going to a funeral. This was unlike any funeral I had been to before. My friends father passed away and the funeral was at 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning. This man was Amish, so I went to my first Amish funeral. When I got there most of the family was already in the basement of the house. You see the Amish do not have church buildings, they do church in their homes, barns and shop buildings. There had to be 300 people sitting on wooden benches in this basement.
The first Amish man that got up to speak started a little slow, but picked up some steam. He spoke in Dutch, so I was only able to follow about half of what he said. Yes, I do understand a little Dutch. I did hear him talk about Jesus and making sure we are right with Him. The second guy spoke in English and shared the complete Gospel. He was a nephew on the man that died. He walked through Romans to share that we are all sinners and in need of saving. He went on to share how to do that in a very clear way.
The last Amish man I could not understand at all. Only a few words here and there. By that time I was tired and ready to get out of there. When we finally ended almost two hours later, they started to release people to walk by the casket and pay their final respects. There must have been another 300 people outside, because they just kept filing in, one after the other. The entire Amish community must have been there. It was amazing to see that many people coming to show their love and support.
That is one thing the Amish do very well. They know how to do community. They are very good at caring for and supporting each other. I was once again reminded that we can learn from everyone. The respect they showed for this man and his family was incredible. I had never met this man, but I was friends with one of his sons. I am glad I went and showed my love and respect for this family. It made me wonder if that many people would come out for my funeral? How many lives am I impacting or touching in a positive way? What will people say about me at my funeral? I hope they say more than I was a good guy. I hope people will talk about things that matter like faith, love, relationships and compassion.
Several years ago I wrote down what I would want the people closest to me say at my funeral. I think I will revisit that and see how I am doing. That is a great exercise for all of us to do. What do you want them to say verses what would they actually say. If those are different then you have some work to do in your relationships.
After I got home, I ate lunch and then headed to NewPointe Community Church. We had three services on Christmas Eve. I have to say that the opening song was the most amazing thing I have seen in quite some time. The opening song rocked the house and really got every ones attention. The drummers were amazing with the lights and water on the drums. Way to go creative team! It was a combination of the “Blue men”, “Stomp” and “Drummer Boy”. What a way to worship the One True God!
We had nearly 3,000 people come to the three services. They all heard an incredible message of peace from Pastor Dwight and I am sure many people were impacted for Jesus Christ as we celebrated his birth. The reason I like Christmas is because we get to share the good news of Jesus Christ with so many new people. That never gets old. I am so glad that I am part of a church that is not afraid to try some bold things to reach lost people.
We must never forget why Jesus came in the first place. It is because he loves everyone and wants everyone to know Him. He loves the Amish people that were at that funeral and the 3,000 people that came to NewPointe. He also loves all those people that did not go to church and are far away from Him. The church should be doing everything short of sin to reach the lost people of this world.
I am glad NewPointe is willing to take risks to reach and connect with people. The church should not be boring, it should be the most exciting place on earth. It should be a place where people feel accepted, loved and welcome. A safe place to come and heal and get to know God in an intimate way. A place to come and make new friends and build meaningful relationships. A place to come and help impact and change the world!
What an amazing day!