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Worship Lessons From A Groundhog

Where I come from, tomorrow is a high, holy day: the day the groundhog makes his prediction about the rest of the winter. It’s all in good fun, but it’s kind of a stupid tradition. For the uninitiated, people gather around to see whether the groundhog sees his shadow. If he does, winter will supposedly last six more weeks. If not, spring’s arrival is imminent.

Of course, the best thing to come out of that holiday is the 1993 Bill Murray film of the same name.

What does this have to do with anything? I think we can learn something about worship planning from the holiday and from the movie.

While the Groundhog Day celebrations that take place near my home are all in good fun, there’s not much point to them. Whatever the groundhog sees or doesn’t see, it has no bearing on how long winter weather will last.

Lesson for worship leaders: there’s nothing wrong with tradition, but every tradition should have meaning.

As for the movie, it features Bill Murray’s character stuck in some sort of time loop that’s never really explained. He keeps living the same day over and over again. No matter what he does, he wakes up every morning in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, on Groundhog Day, while “I Got You Babe” plays on the radio.

Lesson for worship leaders: don’t let your worship planning get stuck in a time loop like in Groundhog Day. Yes, your congregation should be able to expect a certain degree of familiarity from week to week, but don’t be afraid to change things up.

No matter how you celebrate Groundhog Day (or not), learn a lesson from the meteorological rodent.

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