Tomorrow is the first of our midweek Advent worship services. They are part of our worship tradition in my denomination (Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod) and my congregation (Shepherd of the Coast, Palm Coast, FL). But they are not a part of most people’s lives. In other words, few show up.
I believe that if you didn’t grow up with this tradition, it wouldn’t even occur to you to show up at a church for a Wednesday night worship service during Advent, Lent or any other time of the year. Even if it’s heavily promoted, the idea is a hard one to sell to busy people who figure they get enough religious input on Sunday mornings.
But I like it. I like night services. Things look and sound different to me. Rather than being at the beginning of the day, it’s the end, before bed, and our thoughts are on the day past, rather than the day or week ahead.
This year, I’m going to try and be less formal and more conversational with those who are there, most of whom will be the choir and the youth group, who are there every Wednesday anyway. I want to hear from people, not just talk at them. We don’t do much of this, but it’s worth a try. I’ll let you know how it goes!