I love Christmas! It's the most wonderful time of the year! My favorite activity our church does is our annual Christmas music service. My church has many talented people who enjoy singing about Jesus' birth. I'm thankful they are willing to use their talents for Him.
This year we had some new stuff included...a saxophone solo and a person who chose to sing for the first time at our church. It was a great celebration.
We began our service with a congregation song. I had to finish practicing the song I:43 sang, so we began the service with Pastor leading "The First Noel." It was nice to be able to see the crowd that gathered. After our fellowship time, Penny sang "Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne" as it was requested by one of our members. Renee, then read a Christmas story she reads to her kindergarten class room. Grace played "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" on her little harp. She is really enjoying that gift. For her first performance at Gateway, Carrie sang "Breath of Heaven." It's one of my favorite Christmas songs and she did an amazing job on it. Gary & Connie blessed us with "New Star Shining"...this is one of the many songs I love to hear them sing. Kat changed songs this year and chose "Do You Hear What I Hear?"...the arrangement was Todd Agnew's...it's a good one too. Ginger chose to read the story of how Silent Night was written, and then Thomas played it as a solo on piano. After our offering, we had Felicity play "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" on her new saxophone. It was the first time she had played her sax at church and she did a really good job. Those who chose not to participate in a solo performance was able to join us in a congregation song "O Come All Ye Faithful"... my favorite Christmas song. Scott and his daughter Kristen were accompany by his wife Rhonda on piano with "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." Sammi sang "Bethlehem Morning" and hit it out of the park. Mary brought the light out with "Born in Bethlehem" literally after she sang, a light popped out. Kristen sang "Mary, Did You Know?"...she is the only person I really enjoy hearing to sing this song. I'm not a fan of it, but yet she does a beautiful job on it. Ben sang my favorite song that he sings "Joseph's Lullaby." I really love to hear him sing anything, but that song is very special to me. This year I chose the song "As the World Slept" originally recorded by NewSong. It's one of my favorites from their Christmas CD "Christmas Shoes." I really enjoy singing songs about Jesus' birth. After I finished, I:43 came up to sing "O Holy Night." Then we heard a message about Mary's Christmas song by Pastor Scott.
It was really a great night, and Ben was able to record the entire service. He thought he had lost part of it, but was able to find it again. I'm so thankful he is able to run the sound in this service...it makes him a little nervous, but he does a really good job and it runs very smooth that you don't realize he is back there running it.
Of course, with the start of our Christmas season also brings the craziness to come. We have a Christmas Dinner, Christmas Cantata, and children's Christmas program to come.
Let's rejoice this Christmas...be sure to remember the TRUE reason for Christmas....JESUS!!!