... Even the worst heartaches can become heartstrings to God's hope, comfort, encouragement, joy, peace and love...

Welcome! As a fan of the cartoon character Maxine, I enjoy her witty remarks. But when I
read my blogs & other writing to her, she's not very responsive- even when I'm wearing my bunny slippers like hers! She just doesn't get it!
Although she's funnier than I am, I do pray that this site will bring encouragement to your day! I'd love to hear from you! Unlike Maxine, you can leave me a message via the Comments. Shalom, Connie


Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas In the Summertime

...the wise men went their way. Once again the star appeared to them, guiding them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. (Matthew 2:9 NLT)

One of my most memorable Christmas celebrations occurred during the summer of 1983 when I attended a Singspiration Music Conference. Music conferences are special because almost everyone there is in music ministry, many as choir directors and worship leaders. Attendees get a preview of all the music for the next year- often by the people who wrote it.

Everyone becomes part of a choir either for an Easter or a Christmas cantata. In 3 days, you learn the music then present it in an evening concert. My group, that year, sang Derric Johnson's A Song, A Star, A Son. As musician's we learned the music quickly, so could concentrate on how to present the cantata. We discussed the words and their meaning with the man who wrote them, from his heart, with the help of God.

As a mother of one child, a son, I was deeply touched by these words: A song... a simple song; a star... a single star... a Son, God's Son- the perfect one, God's only one.

When we arrived in our long skirts and the men in their suits, the auditorium had been transposed into Christmas. Composer, lyric writer Derric Johnson walked on stage in a tuxedo and bowed to the choir before acknowledging the audience. We were excited to be presenting the world's first performance of A Song, A Star, A Son. We were eager to please Derric and to bring God glory.

Before the Finale, we sang, Quite a Little Baby. It reminds us that the little baby in the hay was born to die upon a cross and Derric asked us to dramatize the end of the song. At measure 87 every other person slipped their music on top of the music of the person to their left. In half time we sang with a slow, but building crescendo, He spread His hands out wide___. (rest) Then from double forte to double soft and (rest) died. The was a soft gasp from the audience as every other choir member stood with their arms outstretched. Derric Johnson had tears streaming down his face as he mouthed, Yes That's it. It was as if all 150 singers were on the cross with Jesus.

The accompaniment tape was stopped and we waited... truly angels hovered near for we were on Holy Ground.

All arms went down at his signal and we finished the song; at double forte on high B-flat, we sang, Jesus Christ, the Lord as if it was Resurrection morning

The words and the music stirred a part of my soul that needed to experience the true miracle of my Lord's humble, earthly birth. It was awe-inspiring, magnificent, impressive yet simple. The applause went on and on- music ministers, deeply touched, offering their praises for God's work through Derric Johnson.
If I never sang again, it would have been enough to have sung A Song, A Star, A Son, that evening, but at the same time I wanted to sing it again and again. And I do, every year during Christmas week.

It is my prayer that Derric Johnson's words will stir your soul.

What makes the difference is our heart's response to the song... and the star... and the Son. Christmas means He came to you; salvation means you come to Him. Christmas is the Son of God becoming the Son of Man so that the sons of men become the sons of God.

Come and worship, Come and worship, Worship Christ, the New Born King


Shalom, Connie

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