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I can remember watching a 400-meter relay at the Olympics. And it seems the USA was not stellar at passing the baton, which is sort of important in a relay. The same is true as we move around the track in church. We have to pass the baton. Correctly and within the rules.

This week I watched a bit of baton-passing around Peninsula. It did my soul good. Last Sunday the church was not ready for Christmas. This morning? Well, that has been rectified. There are some purposeful tweaks this year to the plan to encourage fresh perspective. But I really want to highlight the baton passing that took place.

During my first Christmas at Peninsula, I was told that the pastor’s wife should spearhead the decorating. Really? With three small children at home? I don’t think so. So we punted that year. And every year since. People with great energy and an eye for decorating have blessed us for years. For a long time, Les Smith would do the heavy lifting. Literally. Others came along as he slowed down. Tony Vula and Rob Jarosch (boy, do I miss that family) stepped up to set up trees and hoist wreaths. The décor continued to evolve, but on the backs of some new folks.

When Les went to be with the Lord, it was up to Tony and Rob, who has since moved away. As life moved on, some of the other stalwart decorators are not strong enough to continue. Entering Christmas this year, we wanted a full-throated display of the holiday, but how were we going to be able to pull that off? The crew was shrinking.

A baton needed some passing. And this week, it began. On Sunday, a bunch of people hauled the decorations up from storage. Then, the high school students set up the trees and placed six trees where they needed to be. Pizza helped a bit.

On Monday morning, some energetic faces showed up to support our seasoned veterans. Same with Tuesday. And Wednesday. And Thursday. And Friday. But the bonus this year was that our Young Adult Ministry volunteered to come on Tuesday night to decorate and do a bunch of the heavy lifting that remained undone. What a blessing.

To be honest, I can’t tell you who all helped this week. I can’t even let you know how many joined the team. But I can say that the baton was passed to those with a lot more energy than some of us around here.

Rejoice this morning – first for Jesus, second for His coming, and third for willing volunteers who came to pick up a baton that was almost hitting the track. You are all rock stars in my book.

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