Christmas Memories – Advent Devotion
December 19, 2020
1 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 5:15
This Christmas memory took place in 1995. For many years, my first church, Our Savior Lutheran, held a Christmas Cantata. The Cantata had an excellent orchestra, choir and eventually included dramatic scenes from Christ’s birth, life, and death. It was directed by our music minister Mark Lohmeyer.
I don’t know whether Mark asked me, or I asked Mark if some of the students could perform an opening number before the Cantata began. He agreed after we discussed what I had in mind.
I asked three young ladies from my youth group to participate. And I performed with them. My wife sewed three beautiful long dresses for the girls and a vest for me.
After many practices, the night of the Cantata arrived, and the church was packed. The girls and I were at the back of the church when the song, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” began to play. We all had microphones and sang along to Andy Williams as we made our way to the front of the church, handing out candy canes along the way.
When the four of us arrived up front, four stools were waiting for us in front of the orchestra area. If my memory is correct, we sang on Christmas song together, and one of the young ladies sang a solo of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
It was a lot of fun, people applauded, and we four were the “Opening Act” for the Christmas Cantata.
One could argue that the creation of the world was God’s opening act. Perhaps it was. But how about God’s opening act for mankind, which was multifaceted. The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
The first people God created sinned against His wishes. How would or could his be undone? God wanted to do something that would make an impact on the world forever. He sent His Son to earth. Not as a man on a white horse to conquer, but as a baby born of a virgin in a stable.
Jesus was a baby who would grow and age like any other man, with one exception. Jesus was God and man. He taught about His Father’s kingdom, He healed more people than we’ll ever know, Jesus served others. Finally, He died on a cross as a living sacrifice for our sins.
Just as it says in the passage above. Jesus died for everyone’s sins, for all times. That means the sins you have committed, the ones you will commit, and the transgressions you have yet to commit.
He died for you, me, your neighbor, and even our enemies. The thing is, God’s opening act didn’t stop there. Three days after He died, Jesus rose from the dead.
That means He overcame death. And someday, when Jesus returns, God’s closing act, whether we are alive or have died, we too will overcome death and live with Him for eternity.
My opening act was a few songs with three young ladies at a Christmas Cantata. I guess that opening act pretty much pales in comparison to God’s. He saved the world through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.