I’m reading through the posts on Facebook tonight and watching the videos and looking at the pictures from my friends and their Christmas productions at their church. It makes me smile.
I smile because I know the work that goes into each one. I know the challenges of working through every little detail, lights, staging, getting music ready for instrumentalists, the hours of rehearsals with choirs, the discussions with seamstresses and the repeated costume fittings. I know of music that sounds crazy at the beginning and the anxious hearts of so many singers wondering if they’ll ever get all the notes and learn the music.
I smile because I know the hearts of my friends. Hearts that know that the production isn’t the end. It’s not about all the right notes and perfect vowels. It’s not about every nuance being in the right place and note perfection with your instrumentalists. This is all important and we all work hard to get there, but it’s not the end result. After all, most of the people we work with are not professional musicians.
The end is worship. There is a reason why we call it music ministry. Ministry happens in each rehearsal when we stand up in front of this loved group of people and lead them in making music about a relationship with our Creator. Ministry happens when we stop for a moment when we really don’t have one right then, and say a quick prayer for a friend hurting. Ministry happens day in and day out in preparation for what happens on Sunday mornings and sometimes in special events like a Christmas production.
I smile because I know when I look at those pictures, ministry is taking place. The love of Christ is being expressed, a love that urges each one of us on through the challenges that come our way each day.
I smile also because I am one of them. My choir stood and sang tonight and I loved every minute of it. We offered our best and it was received. People came and listened and responded. We were very grateful, but that wasn’t the only reason we worked so hard to get here. We gave our gift to the Christ child in the manger, that child who is now a king seated at the right hand of the Father. And it was a good gift.
I smile because I felt God smile.