Saturday, December 18, 2010
Joy to the World (by Judy)
Last weekend our church held its annual Christmas Concert. It is a huge effort, with choir rehearsals starting in September, and the audio and visual team working long hours in the days before the first presentation. Of course many churches have similar presentations with every bit as much work preceding the actual event.
In our case, the music was ethereal, combining a large chorus with beautiful orchestration and even a gospel group to ramp up the worship and the swaying of bodies and arms. They filled us all with special joy for they were from an area college, and though sounding like they represented the First Baptist Church of Jackson, Mississippi, they actually were a blend of fair Caucasian faces and their lovely darker counterparts.
Enhancing the worshipful music was the team of media workers, my dear friends, for we labor side by side every Sunday. They had slides that arched across the ceiling of the church and down the sides, spots of various colors, video, unobtrusive smoke-generating machines, and at one point silhouettes playing jazz instruments in rhythm with the musical score. It was most impressive!
When I returned to school Monday, filled with happiness that everything went so well, that there were no major disasters, that it was over, and in hopes that through it all, the Lord was glorified and the pastor’s message heard, within five minutes of my arrival a fellow worker came to my door – someone who had never been to my church, and only attended the concert at the invitation of a church member. She spent the first moments reviewing everything I wrote about above – and then she spent the rest of our considerable time together telling me how amazed her family was by the PEOPLE. The man next to them, an elder, who welcomed them, embraced them and entertained them. The row of respectful teenagers behind them, choosing to spend their Saturday night at church rather than partying. Those around them who greeted them, chatted with them, swayed with them, and invited them to return.
That is what they took away from our concert – welcoming, loving, joyful people. The body of Christ. The music and special effects came and went. The precious aroma of God’s people lingered. The first way to understand the incredible grace, mercy and love of Jesus, is to see it reflected in those who follow Him!