I have to admit I am particularly tickled by the attack of the Karen memes across social media. The “Karen” can be found in many areas of society and as someone who has put together many, many Christmas Carol services I can tell you that nothing like tradition can draw out the Karens en masse.

A bit of background: I used to run a church worship team, which means I was pretty much in charge of music within the church I was in. The duties also included organising the Christmas Carol Service every year.

If you’ve known me for a bit you’ll soon realise I don’t like doing anything just for the sake of doing it and for the longest time I wasn’t very fussed with Christmas Carols anyway. After a couple of years of doing the same kind of thing, I felt that the Carol service needed a refresh. I can already feel your Karen senses tingling. Isn’t the point of Christmas Carols to do things traditionally?

Karens

Traditions are Good(ish)

carolers

As someone who is part of a long-standing traditional belief system, I have come to see that tradition has a place as long as it’s alive. Doing something for the sake of something has always seemed pointless to me. So many people view the Christian faith as outdated and with no real grasp of the modern day. The songs that have comforted us by their familiarity are often just seen as songs to make us feel good when actually they have a real significance.

Each song has a story and the lyrics themselves are usually far more in depth than the Christian Christmas Songs we get nowadays. ‘Silent Night’ was commissioned in 1818 to played specifically on guitar because the church organ had been damaged in a flood.

‘Once in Royal David’s City’ was written to illuminate teaching of the virgin birth. One of my favourites is ‘Joy to the World’ which wasn’t even written for Christmas but as a celebration of the return of Jesus – but has been adopted for the yearly Christmas use.

I wanted to bring meaning back to the songs and to give our church something to look forward to each year. We experienced with a folk/country style, a full rock-band show, a semi-acoustic affair utilising virtually every musician in the church… it’s been a wild ride.

Karens of the Bells

BUT… when you do something like meddle with the carol service then a gaggle of Karens appear to ruin all the fun. The problem with our modern world is not that everyone is entitled to their opinion (I agree) but that everyone feels that they can express it.

I jest, obviously there weren’t many people who actually complained. Actually a lot of people appreciated the effort that goes into organising these events (and for those of you who know, it takes a lot to organise these events).

One thing the Karens have taught me is to be less forward with my own thoughts. Sadly our society has decided that personal preference dominates (maybe that has something to do with social media) and I don’t really want others to feel how the Karens made me feel.

I also think I should apologise to people named Karen at this point…

Merry Christmas

The Bible says that Christmastime heralds ‘peace to all men’ (and women) and who doesn’t enjoy all the warm and fuzziness that comes with the season? People are more open to forgiveness, community and hope at this time of year. But why doesn’t it last?

What if we all decided to prefer the other person and choose selflessness on a daily basis rather than confining it to a couple of weeks a year?

Join with me internet! “No more Karens!”

Tom

Check out our 2020 Christmas Special ‘Alpha Tidings of Comfort and Joy