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Monday, December 1, 2008

An FBCJ Christmas

Today is the first day of December and already Christmas is in the air.

Yesterday, November 30, began our traditional observance of Advent. The theme of the day was "Hope."

This coming Sunday, December 7, in addition to being the 2nd Sunday of Advent, we will offer our Christmas music ministry presentation. This is "new" (how can I say that as this is only my 2nd Advent/Christmas season at First Baptist?). Instead of a morning presentation on different Sundays for the children and the adults, we will be offering one early evening of Christmas music involving 3 of our choirs.

The program, which we have entitled, "The Carol...For God So Loved," will begin at 5 p.m. It will feature a few songs from our preschool choir, The Tiny Tunes, and a couple of songs from our Children's Choir. Then our Adult Choir will make their annual presentation - see the details below on this program presentation. Please note that the 5 o'clock hour will allow everyone to invite guests even from other church fellowships in our area who will begin their services at a later time.

The following Sunday, December 14, will feature the annual presentation of The Pageant of the Holy Nativity at 7 p.m. This is a special tradition for the people of Jefferson, Jackson County, and the surrounding area.

In between these 2 events will be the Christmas banquest on Wednesday, December 10. I mention this meal in this post because the program will feature tidbits from the Music Ministry. Besides a couple of familiar Christmas carols, there will be brief presentations by the Tiny Tunes, the Children's Choir, and an adult ensemble.

Besides the weekly observance of Advent, the church will host it's annual Christmas Eve service - a brief but highly meaningful service (I'm told as I have not had opportunity yet to attend one) to bring a focus to the true meaning of the holiday with a Communion service being the focal point of the event.

I hope that the reader will avail himself/herself of the opportunities of the season to be involved in the music and messages as we share the good news that Christ was born to save sinners such as you and I.

Notes on the Adult Christmas Music Presentation

Adoration - a beautiful a cappella call to worship our Savior.

He Is Born - based on the traditional Il Est Ne this lively arrangement by Barry Talley will set a tone of celebration.

Let Carols Ring - a Swedish Christmas Carol setting by Charles Black calls for singing and caroling to celebrate Christ's birth.

In the Bleak Midwinter - the Christina Rossetti/Gustav Holst piece arranged by Jerry DePuit, reminds us that Christ comes to save us in the midst of our winter of sin, and that the gift He requires of us is our heart.

Angels' Carol - by John Rutter, reminds us that Christ came to bring peace, joy, love, light, and hope. We join the angels in singing, "Gloria in excelsis Deo!"

God So Loved - Claire Cloninger and Robert Sterling call to mind the text of John 3:16 as they state God's great love that caused Him to dwell among us.

Just Beyond the Manger - Joseph Martin carries the theme further by reminding us that as we look just beyond the manger, we will see the cross - the tree that is not decorated with red and gold, but upon which He hung the Brightest Star of all.

Some Children See Him - this Wihla Hutson/Alfred Burt song arranged by Jay Rouse reminds us that the Christ child is not for me and mine, but has come to all the peoples of the world (our mission responsibility comes to mind) and that each of us regardless of color or race must lay aside eartly things and bring to Him the offering of our heart as a true act of worship.

For Unto Us a Child is Born and Hallelujah - these choruses from Messiah by G.F. Handel will not only bring a focus to the close of our presentation, but will also bring forth celebration in our hearts as we go forth from worship to proclaim to our world that the Christ child has been born. Hallelujah!


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