One of the fundamentals of the life of a worship pastor is that, every year you get a whole lot of Christmas. Having the responsibility of helping the congregation celebrate every year means you start with rehearsals in October. And to do that, you must at least begin sifting through music in July or at the latest, August. It's not Christmas all year round, but it can feel like it.
So, tonight I'll begin introducing a few of the Christmas anthems to the choir. I remind them each year that the Christmas rehearsals in October are just as, or more important that the ones in late November. I firmly believe that when our Christmas celebrations go well, it is because of the work we did back in October and that begins tonight.
I still am a fan of Christmas; the wonder and mystery, a big fan, actually. But my favorite holiday continues to be Thanksgiving. If I must begin Christmas preparations so early, it makes since to give thanks beginning even now. Now I'm rambling.
My thought today is, as I begin preparing a choir to lead in Christmas celebration, is to not wait. Don't wait until December to wonder at the Lord and ALL He has done and is doing. If you have trouble finding the wonder and awesomeness of God, read a few Psalms. Perhaps your heart is troubled and you feel alone. You are NOT alone.
Too many times we as Christians approach the mystery of God as if He was a puzzle to be solved. That is not the purpose of His mystery. He is not like us, yet we try to humanize Him. Allow the mighty mystery of the Father, King and Creator to overcome you. Stand in awe of Him. Don't try to figure Him out or explain Him using human understanding. Study as a disciple, yes. But as a disciple, never lose the wonder of the Master.
I like how Eugene Peterson describes this wonder in Psalm 29.
29 Bravo, God, bravo!
Gods and all angels shout, “Encore!”
In awe before the glory,
in awe before God’s visible power.
Stand at attention!
Dress your best to honor him!
3 God thunders across the waters,
Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming brightness—
God, across the flood waters.
4 God’s thunder tympanic,
God’s thunder symphonic.
5 God’s thunder smashes cedars,
God topples the northern cedars.
6 The mountain ranges skip like spring colts,
The high ridges jump like wild kid goats.
7–8 God’s thunder spits fire.
God thunders, the wilderness quakes;
He makes the desert of Kadesh shake.
9 God’s thunder sets the oak trees dancing
A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips their branches.
We fall to our knees—we call out, “Glory!”
10 Above the floodwaters is God’s throne
from which his power flows,
from which he rules the world.
11 God makes his people strong.
God gives his people peace.
Oh, God, my Father. I never want to lose the wonder I have for you. Your love is so amazing, I can
not fathom it. Your grace is so free, I can barely appreciate it. Your blessing so generous, I run out
of time trying to name them. That You would choose to love someone as unloveable as me is beyond
my human reasoning. I can only say Thank You and allow my heart to wonder at Your Holy presence.