Post by Melanie Rodenbough.
As the Advent – Christmas season comes to a close, I am grateful for so many blessings. Even as we remember and pray for those among us who have experienced loss or for whom the season was a sad reminder of loss, we can be grateful for the beauty and joy of Christmas within our church.
I count as blessing those among us who made and hung the lovely bows, Chrismons and other decorations that adorned our church building; those with the skills and talent to make all wonderful items sold at our Theological Education Fund bazaar; those who preached and taught faithfully; and those who prepared and served good food for us on more than one occasion. And I am deeply grateful for the generosity of spirit that poured forth in our Toy Drive, Angel Tree gifts, and other ministries so that others in our community might also experience Christmas joy.
But I am most grateful this particular year for the music of the season that was offered and received at our church. Music is a powerful part of worship for me, and perhaps for you, too. I feel God’s presence strongly when I am surrounded by the swell of our wonderful organ or the harmony of other instruments, and immersed in a choral presentation of Scripture.
Some of you may know that Bo and I “found” GPPC 33 years ago when we were walking through the neighborhood where we had rented our first little Greensboro house and heard the choir rehearsing through an open window. We had not explored churches at that point, but both of us were longing to be part of a church family, something we had missed during the years of college and graduate school. And it was one of my highest priorities to find a church with a choir that sang the choral music I had come to love in my college choir, but would also let me, with my still relatively untrained and puny voice, be a part. I am probably one of the few people who attended a choir practice before I attended worship!
While I have been blessed to be a part of the Chancel Choir for most of those 33 years, this year’s Christmas program was especially meaningful to me and I know to others in the choir. I was also blessed to be able to hear the YES Worship choir’s Christmas music program, and I know those musicians and singers felt equally grateful to be able to share such beautiful music.
I think it would be the hope and prayer of all the participants that the congregation was as blessed as we were by the music of Christmas.