Today was the 2nd message in our Christmas series "Christmas in Our Hearts". We're taking a look at our Christmas traditions and how to ensure they allow us to worship and celebrate the birth of the Savior, but how to use them to teach and reach. This morning my message was about our tradition of Christmas carols and songs.
If all we had at Christmas were our songs - no decorations, no cards or gifts or movies to watch - would our songs be enough? Hope it gave us all something to think about.
Our "Contagious" youth band opened up our worship this morning - their first time in "big church", and they did great! They taught us a song they do at our youth group called "We Shine" and then did an awesome rendition of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" that totally rocked. It's so great to see teenagers leading worship and serving the church.
Again we showed a video from Advent Conspiracy. Along with that movement, we're collecting winter coats to give out Friday night to those in need in our community, taking an offering this month for foreign missions and will be providing the meal and serving at our local "soup kitchen" later this month. Friday night at our Christmas Concert (Unspeakable Joy!) we took up an offering for a local church that sustained a fire a few days before Thanksgiving. The spirit of giving and serving is never so strong, it seems, than at Christmastime.
Like most churches, this time of the year finds us with several MIA partners due to sickness. Get well soon! But it's so great to see others stepping up to be sure the gaps are filled. Team spirit is something we find both a spiritual sign of maturity and also something we value greatly.
After church we had lunch with our son and daughter and their families, then went together to visit grandma in her new digs. She's moved into an assisted living home that is really great! Her only complaint is that they give her more food than she can eat!
Tonight we're visiting with visiting missionary friends Larry and Sheila for pizza and I'm sure, lots of laughs.
BTW, Friday night's concert played to a full house and was most excellent! My son, Nathan, who is our worship leader has done a fantastic job pulling together a great band and a choir that knocked it out of the park. Lots of new Christmas music as well as new renditions of the old. It was incredible. Next year we'll do it twice!