Christmas Memories – Advent Devotion
December 16, 2020
“A Christmas Musical”
2 Samuel 6:14-15
It was December of 1994. At the time, I was on staff part-time at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Lake Worth, Florida. My youth group and parents were ramping up their fund-raising efforts for the 1995 National Youth Gathering in San Antonio, Texas.
At the time, I had about 26 students in my high school youth group. They were perhaps the most tightly knit group I ever had. The students had bonded so well that they kept in contact with each other, and they went out to the movies and other social gatherings on their own.
I had pitched the idea of a Christmas Musical led by my group’s talents to my Pastor, Dr. Mark Behring. He gave the okay, and we were off to the races. I recruited a couple of the students to sing solo’s, but the group performance was by far the best.
I got all of the kids to wear heavy coats, scarves, and hats. We sprinkled them with fake snow, and they entered the church from the back to the tune of Andy Williams singing, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
As the students approached the stage/altar area, they took off their winter wear and handed it to one of the student’s mom and dad. They proceeded to sit in a circle and started discussing what they wanted to for Christmas. One of the students yelling out they wanted “a car” once in a while. (Erin Napier)
Finally, one of my students was asked what she wanted for Christmas. She stood up and said she didn’t need or want anything like a car or clothes. When asked what she wanted instead, music started, and she sang, “My grown-up Christmas list,” by Amy Grant. As she sang, she slowly moved down the Altar area’s steps, sitting with two children (one was my daughter). Then she walked down the aisle between the rows of pews and finished the song. It was very moving.
The congregation and Pastor enthusiastically praised the group. I still tear up when I think about the performance that day. It was fun, in good taste, a message of love was communicated, and the youth connected with the congregation.
I look back at the student’s performance that Sunday in December as a celebration of family and Christmas. It’s so crucial for students of all ages to be an integral part of church and worship.
We can find celebrations of Christmas and of God and Jesus in many things. One instance is in music. Handel’s Messiah celebrates the birth, life, and resurrection of Christ.
King David celebrated his love for the Lord by dancing in 2 Samuel 6:14-15.
We all can and should celebrate the Lord. We should thank Him with every breath for sending His Son Jesus to us. This is why we worship, why we sing praises, and yes, it’s okay to dance before Him too.