During Carols rehearsal last night, “Baby Jesus” made his first appearance to get used to things. Even though this little boy was safely protected inside the Sanctuary of FBCJ, he was in a totally foreign space. And he cried. What a sweet and haunting sound. His cries connected me a song I had been listening to earlier in the day – Faith Hill singing “A Baby Changes Everything.”
The song talks about the shepherds coming. Luke records their actions in Luke 2: 15-17. What is most important in these actions is what the shepherds did after they saw the Christ Child:
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
The Shepherds spread the word about what they had seen, about their personal experience. And they praised God for everything they saw and heard.
Is this not what Carols is all about? If not, then we are totally doing this for the wrong reasons.
Those who have been in the choir for a good while have heard me tell the story of one the first Carols after we moved into the current Sanctuary. During those days (early 90s), sometimes we helped sort decision and offering envelopes. There was an envelope found, with the box checked that this person had prayed to receive Christ during Carols this one particular night. During the follow up, it was confirmed that the young man died shortly after that Carols service. But because of what he saw and heard that particular day, he confirmed that he needed Him. A Baby Changes Everything. Especially A Baby who transcended heaven and earth to die for us that we can live with Him forever.
I hope to meet that young man in Heaven. I often think about that when I am tired or frustrated (though I am not nearly as inclined to “take people out” as Lavon wants you to think!) I know that even just one decision for Jesus makes every effort meaningful and is probably why I do push so hard for us to give Him our very best. A Baby, this Baby, changed everything.
Emmanuel. God with us. I believe.