The Christmas Concert in Hindsight

By the time you read this newsletter the Christmas concert is over two months old. A distant memory of varying degrees for all of us in attendance that night. But journey with me in your minds' eye and recapture our evening together.

Led by the rousing string section of our small but mighty orchestra the night began with a Celtic call to worship. Almost two hours later we closed with a Celtic Christmas Blessing and everything in between continued this gospel theme. What a great time of worship in song.

From beginning to end, the Bible is redemption revealed, and so it was fitting that our fifteen person adult choir opened with:

Hark, the Herald Angels sing, glory to the newborn King.
Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners, reconciled.

Joining together the promise of a Redeemer from Genesis 3:15, with his arrival, veiled in flesh the Godhead see, John 1:14 says, And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory.... Yes, this is Jesus, our Emmanuel. To hear those words reminds us of God's great love to us, as He, through the cross of Christ, reconciles spiritually dead sinners to Himself. Song after song that evening pulled from Scripture the very truths of Christmas.

Nineteen kids, the future leaders of churches such as ours, stood before us and reminded us of, Joy! To the world! Why? Because: The Savior reigns. The Savior reigns! That is joy!

Yes, Christ, once a babe in Bethlehem, but now the Lord of history, is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high. (Hebrews 1:3)

And: Who among us could possibly have dreamed or ever foreseen that we could hold God in our hands? The giver of life is born in the night revealing God's glorious plan.

Yes, Worthy our newborn King. And together, choir and congregation reflecting on the gospel, respond: How great is your kindness Lord!

The kindness of the Lord seen in the babe, the son of Mary, this, this is Christ the King. Every song that night reminding us of the tapestry of the gospel.

For God so loved the world He gave His one and only Son. (John 3:16)

Yes, that was a dark and wondrous night, when unto us a child was born. And, yes, that day was the birthday of a King.

The choir, through song, led us to a yonder stall, brought face to face with the King of glory, at whose feet all shall fall. The birth of Christ was unlike any other. For He would be the Savior of Life. The mystery of the incarnation unfolds as the virgin is foretold, the angels sing of the promised one, God's only son.

Christ alone is the light of the world. His promised birth, sinless life, atoning death, miraculous resurrection and glorious ascension breaks through the darkness of sin and overcomes the sting of death for all who repent and believe. (I Corinthians 15)

Our choir led us in scriptural song from the cradle of Christ, to the cross of Christ, to the promise of the coming of Christ. To sing of a baby and not of a King, is to sing a lie. To sing of a baby's birth and not a Savior's death, is to sing a lie. To sing of a Merry Christmas without a biblical understanding of a Happy Easter is to sing a lie. Thank you, choir, for leading us in spirit and truth.

Interspersed through the concert we heard the familiar verses surrounding the virgin birth of Christ in Luke chapters 1 and 2. In preparation to close the evening Pastor York zeroed in on Luke 1:46-55, which he described as "the most important Christmas song there is." For in the Magnificat of Mary is "the fulfillment of God's long ago promised Messiah," born of a virgin, according to the scriptures, "for God alone is Holy and He must make atonement for sin," which required a sinless Savior. As we contemplate Christmas, Pastor York's encouragement was "that our proper response to the birth of our Lord and Savior is to echo this most famous Christmas song. My soul, my soul, magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior."

Thank you choir and orchestra, under the direction of Aaron Bauer, for telling me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word. – Scott