Christ Community Assembly of God Church, Nashville, Tennessee, December 12, 2010~
Good morning in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Pastor Bilkey here. Sitting here in my office at church, enjoying the quiet, reflecting on God's word, having prayer time ... it's my favorite part of the day, where it's just God and myself ...
Today is our adult's Christmas Cantata. We are expecting great things out of the cast, the soloists, and the choir; I pray that the message the Cantata is sharing truly touches people's hearts in a mighty, powerful way, and I pray that lives are changed. That is the primary goal in doing something like this.
One of our featured soloists, Ronee' Le-Anne Reaux, will not be joining us this morning; she has a very bad cold. Instead, Brittany Popejoy, who is just as much of a gifted singer as Ronee', will be singing "O, Holy Night". I know she will do a marvelous job. Talked to Ronee' yesterday on the phone; she sounded terrible. She sounded more like a croaking bullfrog than a human being; I really felt bad for her. I could tell she was disappointed; don't blame her on that.
Ronee' will probably be missing work this week; the best thing she can do is to stay home, in bed, and rest until she recovers.
The other members of the choir are in fine voice, as are the remaining soloists. They have all been working their tail ends off, to make sure that they give the church guests the best performance of their lives. I am very pleased at how well everyone has been singing (or acting). I pray their efforts pay off; they've only been working on this Cantata for the past three months, since September!
Next week is the children's Christmas musical. They have been working very hard too. We are blessed to have such dedicated and talented members among our church body! They truly love glorifying the Lord in song or acting! That love shows each time they sing or perform!
I am expecting great things out of the children's musical as well. The children are our future, our hope, in a fallen world.
Anyway, we are celebrating one thing: the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. While He might not have actually been born on Christmas Day, this is the day chosen to celebrate His birth. A lot of the time, people have seemed to have forgotten that; this is why we do the Cantata every year and have special Christmas-themed services during the month of December, as a way of reminding them once again why Christmas is so important.
If it were not for God's love for us, we would have never even had a Christmas. Yet God wanted to demonstrate that love by coming to Earth in the form of a baby, His Son, Jesus. At first, everyone loved Him, but then they ended up throwing away that love by falling back into their sinful ways, and Jesus took it upon Himself to die a horrible death (crucifixion) and shed His blood, so man, if they called out to Him, could be delivered from their sinful ways. In short, Christ gave man the option of having a second chance.
If people chose to, they could be forgiven of their sins, and they could live in Heaven forever; all they needed to do was ask God to forgive them and repent of their sins; then they would be set free, and they would be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, where they could live with God and Jesus Christ forever and ever.
It all started with a baby. A innocent little human baby. And now this is what we celebrate each and every Christmas time.
The very meaning of Christmas is of love and giving. God gave us the best Present of all: His Son. It is the perfect Gift, and even today, people can receive it if they invite Christ into their hearts and repent of their sins. It is available to anyone who wants it. So simple, yet so many people refuse to believe. This is why we need to evangelize and get the Truth out there, and pray that our Message of Hope reaches someone. Even if one person responds, we have done our job. This is why we have our Christmas programs and sing praises to Christ every December.
Songs like O Holy Night, Silent Night, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, and It Came Upon A Midnight Clear are timeless classics, yet all carry the powerful message of Christ's love to us. It is up to us to carry that love not only during the month of December, but all year long.
I am so glad that there is a Christmas because Christmas is all about second chances, as well as the giving of yourself to others. Somehow people are more willing to be more receptive during Christmas than any other time of the year.
Well, I'd best run; time to read more of the Word and have some more devotional time. Pray for our choirs (children's and adults), and especially our soloists and our actors; pray that everything in our Cantata goes without incident. Also pray for the children's Christmas musical, which is next Sunday, and pray that people's hearts are touched with the Christmas Story. Pray that they realize what Christmas truly is about; then it will really be a merry Christmas.
May each and every one of you be touched with the love of Christmas today and always! Merry Christmas to you all; may it be your best Christmas ever!
God bless you mightily!
~In His Service,
Pastor Bruce Bilkey.