Saturday, December 03, 2005

Surprised by Santa

Last Saturday night was one of those surreal and special evenings that I'm sure I will remember for a long time. It was also a pivotal night for Compass Church, with lots of laughter, great conversations with many new people, and the stirrings of some serious buzz.

Here's what happened.

Several days ago, the Roanoke Parks & Rec Staff was discussing the final plans for the Roanoke Christmas Parade, when someone asked, "So who do we have lined up to be Santa?" That is when they realized that they had lined up no one to be Santa. Then, amazingly, my name came up. The next thing I know, I'm on the phone agreeing to don the red super suit, although generally, I'm only mild mannered Johnny Leckie...

Now the Roanoke Christmas Parade is a one of a kind event around here. There are certainly other "holiday" parades in several other cities around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, but this is the only one that I know of that takes place at night. Our church has served with the city at this event before, serving hot chocolates and cookies afterward, and last year we even had a float in the parade - but this is the first time the Newly Built Roanoke Recreation Center was in the mix.

It was also the first time I've ever played "Santa Claus" in such a public setting.

Let me pause to say that if you fall into the: "you know, if you rearrange the letters of of the word 'Santa' you get 'Satan!'" camp, and/or can't imagine a pastor actually portraying the jolly fellow during this or any other time of year, here's my gentle advice to you:
  • Realize that you could probably relax a little.
  • Consider that it very well may be time for a new laxative.
  • For heaven's sake, please don't take that last line too seriously.
  • To avoid any righteous indignation on your part, please skip the next couple of posts.
Otherwise, grab some hot chocolate or hot apple cider, and allow me to share with you about the night I was surprised by Santa...

And he was me.

(to be continued...)

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