After the Program

You who lead worship music ministry in your churches have been pretty well consumed in recent weeks with preparations for the “big event” or for many of you “big events” (plural) of the Christmas season.  Changes in weather and other inevitable obstacles have made this year’s work challenging in different ways.  As one who this year saw our biggest Youth Choir event canceled due to weather and a Chorale concert and retreat canceled due to personal health issues, I can relate.  So much goes into the preparation and execution of those presentations!  I recall well from my days of serving where you are in local church music ministry, that when the dust settled from the big Christmas program I had a sense of relief.  Remaining worship gatherings for the church were usually more relaxed and simple in timbre, and in expectation (healthy for leaders and church family).  I always looked forward to the time I could spend with family and friends when I was not responsible for a presentation, but could just spend time being together.  I find in my own journey that refreshment sometimes comes in the midst of those family gatherings as I am made aware of God’s unique blessings of grace, whether looking on my heritage or considering the future hope being voiced through children squealing with excitement.  The power of laughter and expressions of love among family for me are often rich with a sense of spiritual awareness that two or three are gathered together and indeed, Jesus is in our midst (Incarnation).  We may not be huddled in assigned prayer groups, but somewhere in the laughing, telling of stories, and even review of old family videos I find Jesus to be very much alive and well.  As a worship leader it is important for me to offer recognition that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shift shadows.” (James 1:17)  It is a great privilege at Christmas to declare: the love we share among family and friends is only possible because the Lord who made us knew exactly what we needed and what we need in our present day.

Out of those experiences of my own I find myself praying for each of you during this season that you will have that time and opportunity to be refreshed in the presence of family.  I also pray that you will be refreshed spiritually through the presence of the Spirit in those gatherings as well as in some needed personal time of worship with the Gift-giving God.

D.A. Carson reminds us of our needs:

1.     We need to be reconciled to God.

2.     We need to be morally transformed, or else we will just keep on rebelling again and again.

3.     We need all the effects of sin somehow to be reversed and overcome.  That includes not only our relationships with one another but death itself.  Otherwise death just keeps on winning.  This is still a decaying universe.  There is still betrayal, disappointment, pain, sorrow, and death.

(D.A. Carson The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story) 123

Thanks be to God!  Unto us a child is born.  Unto us a son is given.  What a gift!  I pray that in your heart and home you can join the song of the angels:

Hail, the heav’n born Prince of Peace!

Hail the Sun of Righteousness!

Light and life to all He brings,

Ris’n with healing in His wings.

Mild He lays His glory by,

Born that man no more may die

Born to raise the sons of earth,

Born to give them second birth.

Hark! The herald angels sing,

“Glory to the newborn King!”

–Charles Wesley

Prayerfully,

Paul

Explore posts in the same categories: Choir Ministry, Church Music, Leading Worship, Private Worship, Singing Worship, Spiritual formation through singing, Worship Reminders, Worship theology, Worship thoughts, Youth Worship

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