This last weekend, I participated in my first Christmas concerts as a member of the choir at church. This meant a busy weekend for me since I we did the concert both Saturday and Sunday nights. But I loved the songs so much that it wasn't an issue for me.
It also meant Friday I had to sneak in a trip to Follow the Star. One of the churches in the area puts this one very year. They use members of their congregation to reenact scenes form Jesus' life, mostly His death and resurrection. It's a drive/walk through attraction, so most scenes are on 15-30 second loops, but it's very powerful. I love going every year.
Anyway, the concerts went well. I struggled with two songs, the same two both nights. I kept wanting to singing it too high. I'm not sure what range I was even singing in half the time, but I knew it was wrong, so I'd drop out and mouth the words.
One highlight for me was the song where the guys played chimes while the women and children's choirs sang. Most of the guys struggled with that song, but I felt right at home because of the years I spent in the handbell choir. In fact, it made me wish we had a handbell choir for me to join again.
Another favorite song was "'Tis a Wonderful Thing." It had a very jazzy feel and was a blast to perform.
But my favorite song of the concert wasn't one we did. I was introduced to "Mystery" by Selah thanks to the people who did it as a duet. Talk about powerful lyrics! It marvels at God becoming man in the form of Jesus so He could die. Nothing new, necessarily, but the way it is expressed just blows me away.
However, it was very bittersweet. Back in September, they laid off our music minister due to budget cuts. This was his last horrah at the church. He was very pleased with how it went, which is good. But there are lots of us who are really going to miss him. He was very invested in all of us, so it is going to be a huge loss personally, plus his musical expertise is going to be missed. Those will be hard shoes to fill.