Friday, December 20, 2013

I Need a Silent Night

In the ever crazy hustle and bustle of the Christmas Season, it is easy to lose the Christmas Spirit, and it is easy to forget the Savior in the craziness and the stress, even though He is the One who all the extra events are about.  My father had the assignment of pulling together a Christmas Community Concert for his church with a Nativity display.  For months he has been working with a committe of about 20 or more people to pull this off.  Far more than 20 contributed to the cause, however.  There were over 200 nativities donated for the displays, and I'm guessing about 75+ people involved in the choir, orchestra, and special musical numbers on Saturday's performances - that doesn't include the Thursday & Friday night concerts that involved other performers.  I was fortunate to be asked to arrange an organ part for the Coventry Carol, "Lully Lullay", and I played the piano while our friend George played the organ part I wrote.  I was also fortunate to play an organ/guitar duet with our friend, Ray.  He hasn't performed classical guitar for 45 years, and he worked so hard to be ready for this.  It was so rewarding - now he can NO LONGER say that it's been 45 years since he last shared his talents, and what a neat & professional quality event to share his talents with over a thousand people.
Needless to say, whenever there is a worthy cause, the "law of opposition" kicks in.  My dad always says he knows he's doing the right thing when problem after problem gets in his way to stop the end result.  So the only answer is to push past the problems, remember WHO we're really doing this for (God), and keep moving forward.  It would have been so much easier to cancel it all and let it fall apart, because there were so many obstacles, but then the great rewards of reaching the hearts of people who needed to hear the Christmas message would never have been achieved: 
There was a story of a young high school age girl who was found crying in the bathroom- one of the ladies helping at the event asked her what was wrong, and as she shared her story she ended with the words, "I love the way I feel here.  I don't want to leave, and I wish my family would bring us to church more often."
That's when the sacrifices of the last 2 months feel like nothing at all - if that ONE girl could feel the love of the Savior in her life & have peace in a moment that she needed it, everyone's efforts, all the practices, the late nights, and sacrifices of everyone involved were ALL WORTH the effort!

Heber, D-Jo, Dad (This was after the concert)
My thoughts have been filled with my favorite songs from that night:
A sweet 14 year old girl named Tory sang Amy Grant's "I Need a Silent Night"
(Truly an evening full of music about the birth of Jesus Christ created the "Silent Night" that I needed this year.)
I need a silent night, a holy night
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here
To end this crazy day with a silent night
December comes then disappears
Faster and faster every year
Did my own mother keep this pace
Or was the world a different place?
...Look at us now rushing around
Trying to buy Christmas peace
What was it like back there in Bethlehem
With peace on earth, good will toward men?
I need a silent night, a holy night
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here
To end this crazy day with a silent night
One of my other favorites was sung by the choir - Hosanna by Rob Gardner:
"Hosanna! Hosanna! Thy Savior will come, O Israel,
And blessed He’ll ever be called!
Hosanna! Hosanna! Sing praises to God,
Our Hope, our Deliv’rer, our All.

Our Hope and Deliverer promised of old,
For whom we have waited e’er long,
Hath come to redeem us from slavery’s yoke
And deliver His people back home.
Come, Israel, come and see He who shall reign,
In whom we will ever rejoice,
We hear the sound of the glorious refrain
And it echoeth back in our voice:

        Oh, why should we wander as strangers from Thee
And turn from Thy bounteous hand?
Restore and defend us, oh, set us free, That beside Thee we ever may stand!

...He looks, and ten thousands of angels rejoice,...

And myriads wait for His word;
He speaks, and eternity, filled with His voice, Re-echoes the praise of her Lord:

Hosanna! Hosanna! Thy Savior hath come,
Our Hope, our Salvation, our All!"

 Myrna, D-Jo, Miles, Mitch, Tyson, Emmett
My sweet mother in law came to help Mitch with the kids while I was performing - I love her!
I love Christmas time so much!  I love that my kids know the true meaning of Christmas!  We love Santa Clause and all that, too, but NOTHING brings peace and love into our lives like the gift that Jesus Christ brought to the world.