Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Only One More Sleep 'til Christmas

Me, Andrew & a photobomber!
Andrew Lewis was Organist and Interim Youth Minister when I was hired at First UMC-Kissimmee in 1994. He eventually became the Minister of Music and Worship there, and also became one of my best friends. Andrew had many gifts; a beautiful voice, a loving spirit and servant's heart. In all my years around churches he was the best worship designer I have ever been around, although in such a traditional church he got to use those skills on a very limited basis. One particular Advent season Andrew, Pastor John Willis and the rest of the worship team outdid ourselves. We took the One More Sleep 'Til Christmas theme from the movie The Muppet Christmas Carol and started our "sleep" countdown a month before Christmas Eve. Pastor John, his famous infamous puppet Hollywood (who has his own post here on this blog!) and I would weave the impending arrival of Santa Claus into the Children' Moment each week along with the excitement over the coming of the Christ child. By our Christmas Eve "family services" we had built to a fever pitch. Those kids and their parents had gotten the message- it was the night before JESUS! That night Andrew sang the Muppet song and had me sing the Rich Mullins classic You Gotta' Get Up (see the video at the bottom). Children performed a nativity play. Hollywood, John and myself then closed the series by reminding everyone that the coming of Jesus was an even more exciting event than the coming of Santa- although Santa rocks! It was an awesome service. Then everyone went outside to witness a Living Nativity performed by our youth. God even spoke to us through and angel on a ladder that night...

Every year MarilynWill and I attend a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Every year I am moved by the music, the lifting of candles as we sing Silent Night, and the Christmas story itself. And every year I think of Andrew, John, and Hollywood and all the time, effort and creativity that went into making that night in the late '90's one that will stay with me forever!

I hope that for each of you, tonight will be a Holy night.My family will attend the 6 PM service at Van Dyke, return home for real Carolina hot dogs and a viewing of Scrooged. Tradition will be broken, as we normally watch The Muppet Christmas Carol, but this year we are saving it until tomorrow so Michelle, who has never seen it, can watch with us. But Scrooged works nicely as a replacement, and so that is Christmas Eve at the Jones' house. Whatever your traditions may be, please don't forget the original Christmas tradition-  O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining; It is the night of our dear Saviors' birth...  Merry Christmas to all.  Today it is finally true again-there's only one more sleep 'til Christmas!  And that means that tomorrow you gotta' get up- it's Christmas morning. Hugs and blessings to you all!

My Deliverer is Coming,

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12/24/2014

    Merry Christmas, Carl!


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