One of my most favorite times of year is Christmastime. I love the songs, the TV specials, the family time, the presents, the good cheer, the parties...yes, I love Christmas.
Most of all, I love that we are celebrating our Savior's birthday - best birthday party EVER!
As my regular readers know, I walked through a difficult time over the summer while my family and I changed from one church home to another.
Our faith and our church home are a very important part of our lives, so it was a big deal to us. You can find those posts here in my Christian Faith Walk category.
Today, my new church home had the "dress rehearsal" for the kid's Christmas program. The program takes place tomorrow morning at our 10:30am service.
Peace Chapel is a small and lively church. However, we have only one pastor on staff - that's our lead pastor. The rest of us are volunteers.
The Children's ministry leader, Elizabeth, asked if I would be the music director for the kid's Christmas program.
Of course, I said yes! I love Christmas music! (My degree in music doesn't hurt, either).
We got a late start planning the program for a variety of reasons, and then, Plan A fell through.
So, on November 8th, Elizabeth and I sat down together and wrote the "Plan B" Christmas program.
We were feeling led by the Holy Spirit, but it still felt like we were wingin' it.
After we got the script written, it was time for me to print music and get packets ready.
I purchased and printed music (thank you, Musicnotes.com for saving my behind), and practice started the very next Sunday.
Oh.My.Word. I was in near panic after the first rehearsal. Did you know that most kids do not know the classic Christmas carols?
We had our work cut out for us.
But, God is good (go ahead...say it..."All the time!"), and the kids are masterful little sponges. They learned the songs really fast, and I'm so proud of them.
This morning, we had our final rehearsal, and the first one on the stage in the main sanctuary.
Are these kids ready for The Voice?
No. But they are ready for their parents, grandparents and the rest of the congregation. Besides, God never said, "Make perfect music," or "get everything exactly right!"
God says, "Make a joyful noise unto me!" That's what these wonderful kids are doing. We have a couple of soloists, a violinist and some cutie-patooties speaking their lines with gusto.
I could not be prouder if they were my own kids.
Of course, my own won't have anything to do with being on stage, so I've got that going for me.
Why write about this now? Because I am understanding more and more why God took me from my church home of 9 years and moved me 20 miles away.
He has me serving in a community where I get to use many of the gifts and talents He's given me, and I get to use them for His glory. What an honor and a blessing for me.
Christmas is the season of generosity, love, peace and gift-giving - the greatest gift of all being God's son, Jesus.
So, during this Christmas season, let's all slow down a bit. Let's love one another. Let's take care of one another.
Let's put the focus not on the shopping and the baking, but on the sharing and the caring...
...and the singing! Don't forget the singing!
Psalm 100 (ESV)
1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
What holidays do you celebrate? How do you like to celebrate them?
Have you ever had kids in a Christmas program? What's something funny that you've seen or heard during one of those programs?
Share with me here in the comments, then come over to my Facebook page and like it. I offer (nearly) daily devotionals and encouraging conversations safe for people of all ages.
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