A Christmas Reflection
A Reflection from the Christmas Concerts
Written by Craig Fisher
Photos by Lisa Howell
I felt compelled to write down some of my observations that I witnessed at the day of Sunday, December 4th during the Christmas concerts. I don’t have the elegance with words and thought to speak off the top of my head, and sometimes the reflection of the day culminates into vivid picture accompanied by a loss of ways to express it. Maybe with writing it down, my spirit can rest.
As an av technician, I was in a unique position of being center church balcony for rehearsals and both concerts. What I saw was quite amazing from that vantage point. Oh, yes the performance was magnificent but there was more to it. Here is some of what I witnessed in sort of a crude bullet pointed list:
- Volunteer singers coming together working hours of practice to present the best music in celebration of…(ok, corny, overused, phrase: but here it is) The Reason for the Season.
- Bell ringers who came extra early so that they could work in some practice on their own for those tricky parts of the music & helping each other get it just right.
- Children excited, experiencing a big production with orchestra and choir, some maybe for the first time while learning how to be disciplined and respectful.
- Brian Childers his technique with working with children to teach good music & encourage, but not afraid to get his hands dirty with the mundane setup of tables and chairs.
- Melanie Dobson smiling and working with the kids before the concert, encouraging, teaching breathing exercises and how to shake off nervous energy.
- Ushers from MP in their Santa hats greeting and seating the guests with kind words and smiles.
- Bill Roth making sure things at the front of the house were in order and organized while welcoming people.
- Nathan Arledge working the balcony, talking, smiling, taking VR pictures for story telling in facebook.
- From a more first hand & personal experience, I saw Jim Deal working, stressing for perfection, bringing his years of musical & audio expertise plus experience with coordinating a crew to work together with fun and harmony, yet beating himself up if it all did not go as planned.
- Nicolas Haigh with highly refined talent yet packaged in an unassuming humility and willingness to take on whatever is needed to make the whole great, and also comes with a wife of great talent of her own. (Oh by the way, I wonder how other musicians would react if 3/4 of the audience walked out on their solo?)
- Peg and Nancy running around coordinating, picking up, cleaning up, keeping track of property, signage, communication and all of the tasks so vital and yet share their considerable musical talent as well.
- People in the background bringing their own talents & gifts of service: (teen) Jack Balogh, Cindy & Lewis Withers (always willing for whatever is needed), Karen & Jasmine, and so many others who were a part that I haven’t mentioned.
- Well, then you have a Pastor who speaks words of wisdom & sensitivity for these times in prayer and benediction, not just making an appearance but being a part of the music in choir and providing another perspective of insight from the stage.
- A church packed full of people who were inspired, moved, delighted.
- Last in this list, but certainly not least is the boundless energy, imagination, creativeness, leadership through inspiration, maturity and wisdom beyond his years; coupled with musical ability that amazes and thrills. Need I say his name?
Maybe a little sappy and dramatic visualization from me, but just all of this to say how happy I am to be a part of this great ministry and in service for God. Now, after years and years: a feeling of belonging. a feeling of family.
There is a very simple little song by Kittie Louise Jennett Suffield that has been running through my head all day called, “Little is Much When God Is in It”. When I looked up some of the words that I had forgotten, the first thing that I noticed was this statement: Author: Kittie L. Suffield (1924) Tune: STEWARDSHIP
In the harvest field now ripened
There’s a work for all to do;
Hark! the voice of God is calling,
To the harvest calling you.
Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame;
There’s a crown, and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ name.
In the mad rush of the broad way,
In the hurry and the strife,
Tell of Jesus’ love and mercy,
Give to them the Word of Life.
Does the place you’re called to labor
Seem so small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He’ll not forget His own.
Are you laid aside from service,
Body worn from toil and care?
You can still be in the battle,
In the sacred place of prayer.
When the conflict here is ended
And our race on earth is run,
He will say, if we are faithful,
“Welcome home, My child—well done!”