Here at St. Andrews, we had an amazing time of worship throughout the month of December.
1.We kicked off the Advent season with a two-night concert entitled , "Come Now Our King." We had piano, bass, drums, keyboard, 2 electric/acoustic. The title of the concert was inspired by the amazing song by Chris August and Dave Barnes, and each piece that we shared those 2 evenings had something to do with Christ as king.
The idea to do a Christmas concert that focused on Jesus as king came to me back in the summer while I was reading through 1 & 2 Kings. What I found is that there were consistently more ungodly, idol-worshipping kings in power than there were godly ones. Yet, inspite of that, God knew what His plans were, and He stuck to them. And though there were trying times for God's people, He never forgot them. He knew He was about to establish His Son as the King of kings and Lord of lords, and it seems He wanted people to be in a state of yearning and anticipation when His Son came into the world.
Our current-day affairs sometimes seem all too similar to what God's people were experiencing before the 1st coming. Though we haven't been deported, we know that our nation is no longer strictly Christian. We know that our leaders aren't strictly Christian, and many fear for the future. Could it be that God is allowing these events to occur, that we might long for His 2nd coming? Could it be that God is using these affairs to turn our nation back to Himself?
2. We also had a great Christmas Eve service. We had piano, bass, drums, 2 acoustic, and a string quartet. Though it's time-consuming, I love arranging for strings. They can really add alot of flavor to the music. Our Christmas Eve services are always in the Lessons & Carols format. They include familiar Christmas hymns on which we lead the congregation, as well as some performance pieces that the choir and/or a soloist will sing. As is the norm with many traditional churches, we ended the service with Silent Night while the congregation illuminated the sanctuary with their candles.
3. We had 1 combined service on Christmas Day. We chose not to hire any extra musicians as we didn't want to pull them away from their families just for our sake, so we had our usual Sunday morning band (piano, bass, drums & 2 acoustics). Without tinkering with the melodies, I arranged some familiar Christmas hymns to where they were singable and familiar, yet had a slightly different accompaniment. It was alot of fun. The choir sang a beautiful anthem by Craig Courtney called, "Murmurs in a Stable."
Easter, here we come!