Can I Let Go Of My Ghosts From Christmas Past?
Direction Magazine|December 2019
James Glass thought that technical gremlins had ruined his carol concert, but his message was received loud and clear by one local dignitary
James Glass

It was the best of carol services, it was the worst of carol services. I think if Charles Dickens had attended, he might have summed it up thus.

For a start, I thought there would be more people there. Then again it was the Sunday night before Christmas.

Then there was the sound. It seemed to work perfectly in rehearsal. It worked a treat in the Sunday morning service. Now it seemed to want to contribute sounds of its own that didn’t seem so melodic.

And, of course, there was the killer video clip. It had worked perfectly in the dry run. I was beginning to believe the tech team that there was no need to worry as we weren’t trying to stream anything. It was on a physical DVD. What could go wrong? Unfortunately, the killer video clip decided to retire a few seconds into its performance, filling the screen with frozen images. Try as we might, we couldn’t bring the DVD out of premature retirement.

It just so happened that we had invited some people who were quite important in the town. Well-known public figures! So I had to force a smile and turn the tech crash into a source of humour.

It wasn’t an ideal backdrop to the sermon. Loosely based on Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’, I was trying to weave the Christmas story into the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. The effort to present the gospel in a way that was culturally recognisable seemed a bit undermined by the failure of my culturally cutting-edge frozen video clip.

Nevertheless, I ploughed on. The end came. In all honesty, it felt like it couldn’t come quickly enough.

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