It was big music Sunday.
We have one every once in a while, but mostly around Christmas and Easter.
These are Sundays where we combine our music and musicians and offer identical services, rather than our customary classic style and contemporary style services.
Today, we walked back through our entire ‘Light’ series and landed on a strong message about being ‘light bearers’… carrying the light of God’s truth everywhere we go.
Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy) (Tomlin) – congregational song led by band, vocals
O Come All Ye Faithful – congregational song led by orchestra & choir
recap: the light of creation and the light foretold
Let There Be Light (recorded by Point of Grace) – orchestra, band, choir, kids’ ensemble
recap: the light arrives (Jesus’ birth)
Hallelujah (Light Has Come) (by Barlow Girl) – women’s trio, choir, orchestra
scripture: excerpts from John 1 and Luke 2
Tonight – choir, soloists, orchestra
Hark the Herald Angels Sing – congregational song led by orchestra & choir
Advent narration: Light Bearers
message, including a first hand story of a light bearer
Carrier (Jared Anderson) – congregational song led by band, vocals
Go Light Your World soloists, orchestra, choir
Big music Sundays bring with them a different set of logistics, rehearsals, and technical needs of every stripe. Our team rose to the challenge and we had three very smooth worship experiences because of people who prepared well and allowed their gifts to shine.
If servants can make the day shine, they are heroes, right? The servant-heroes of today:
Bethany, who did ‘candle surgery’ on an obstinate Advent candle between services in order to keep it burning.
David, who created a powerpoint presentation containing all the words of every song, along with guides and prompts, projected to a rear screen so that all vocalists could be ‘off book’ with confidence.
Dave, who ran the aforementioned powerpoint flawlessly… a bit of a tedious job.
Jerry, who spent hours Saturday working through visuals for the entire service.
Adam, who was up until ? moving our projection screen, bringing in extra audio gear, and performing miracles on our PA system.
Nick, who agreed to run lights despite his stated lack of experience, but did a beautiful job and helped craft an atmosphere
Ryan, Brittany, and Kaitlyn, who have done a great job with narration pieces over the past four weeks.
Susan and Lyndon, who read beautifully.
Greg, Melanie, Kayla, Danni, Tanya, David, Kim & Wendell, who sang beautifully.
ushers who threw down lots and lots of extra chairs in little time to accommodate a packed 9:45 service
and an entire orchestra, choir, and band who did their part well three times over.
A live orchestra brings magic to almost any song. But our goal wasn’t magic. Our goal was to celebrate this great story, this great rescue, this thing of God becoming human to save us. And our goal was to remind ourselves that the story doesn’t stop there, at this tiny barn with a tiny baby, but continues with us. We are charged with carrying the light forward.
I come away from this morning grateful for all those people who participated, inspired to join the historical stream of light-bearers, and, through tears, adding a new song to my ‘favorite songs from Mary’ list, ‘Hallelujah (Light Has Come)” by Barlow Girl. Check it out.
And Merry Christmas!