Monday, December 28, 2009

Day of Money Changers (Counters) in the Temple

Today is the day we “count” contributions from Christmas Eve and the Sunday following. It’s an important count as we consider our year-end budget needs. I’m not allowed to actually count (or even touch) the money (a good call for pastors) so I came in to make coffee and bring cake to the counters (and lunch for the money counting staff).

As they count dollars in the conference room I decided I should count the gifts that made Christmas Eve the loveliest night of the year. Among the gifts I will treasure are:

Beautiful music. Ben, Dave, Brian, Aaron and Jenna produced a most amazing evening of music ranging from a rock version of Joy to the World to a beautiful lullaby with a Children’s Choir ensemble joining our Chancel Choir. Cameron’s opening to the services with See Amid the Winter’s Snow was perfect! Jenna’s Tonight, Who Would Imagine a King and A Baby Changes Everything were amazing! Britany’s O Night Divine was the perfect punctuation to a series of incredible solos. And, at least for me, Brian’s arrangement of How Great Our Joy! makes it Christmas!

A poem written by a young girl from Mission of Yahweh. She so beautifully captured the Christmas story.

The wonder and joy on the faces of young children when we’d bring them up front during the candlelight singing of Silent Night.

Lighting the Advent Candles with Kim, Kelli, Jennifer and Jamie. With Kelli graduating college in May who knows where next Christmas Eve may find us all.

There was a moment almost each time I gave the message when the congregation got the words to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer wrong. It’s “one foggy Christmas Eve” not “one foggy Christmas night.” For some reason that made me smile each time it happened. It’s good to worship with “misfit toys.”

The Grace Staff. From communications to worship to accounting and facilities and childcare even the pastoral staff – the effort put into Christmas Eve reflected hearts of love for Jesus. It is such a blessing to be surrounded by such an amazing group of Christ followers.

On Christmas Eve we “opened a jar of perfume” and poured it out as our gift to celebrate the gift of a Savior. I can hardly wait to offer that gift to Him 57 more times in 2010.

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