Honestly – Carols Dress Rehearsal was a blur. I can assure you that is nothing new (for me).  In fact, I told Millie Quarterman that the details of Carols is somewhat like the details of planning a wedding – You work work work and BAM, it is over.  (Note to self – I do remember that today is just Thursday and there are five very important times to come where we will be leading in WORSHIP.) From my perspective dress rehearsal is about watching. I am looking for spacing and when folks come/go to the choir loft and ….. and…. and……

Last night was an open rehearsal.  There were a LOT of folks there – Lavon’s and Edd’s Moms, choir members who cannot participate this year, new friends of mine from our SAP project (my full-time employment), and folks I have never seen before. In fact, while we have had an audience before (one year a long while back was actually promoted for folks to come – not one of our greatest moments, but I digress), this was the largest dress rehearsal crowd I remember in years.

Sure – there were things that were not what we are looking for in the “production” – possessed smoke machines (Steve says those are more possessed than microphones and I would agree!); missed notes in both orchestra and choir;  ballerinas who missed their cue; a monster machine (a.k.a. “the jib”) in the processional routes so close in shots of the orchestra could be captured for television – details – details – details. It was also the most compact dress rehearsal choir wise that I remember in years (maybe ever).  We only repeated one number. Otherwise it was straight through start to stop except for the welcome and closing comments. One choir member asked: “Are you sure we are through?  It’s not even 8 o’clock!” Whoa.

But in the blur, I again was reminded that “It all begins with WORSHIP!”  The finessing of small details is what is required to make sure there are no distractions to WORSHIP. We do not want the Message of the Christ of Christmas to be blurred. To ensure that, we pray, prepare, and, in fact, sweat the small stuff.

Opening of Amazing Grace

You remember, God, for us, also took care of the small stuff and the really big stuff.  He knew from the beginning of time that He would hand over His Son to us who would be our Savior. He outlined in so clearly in what we know as Old Testament prophecy. The passage to me that best sums this up is in Micah 5:

But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.  Therefore He will give them up until the time when she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren will return to the sons of Israel.

And He will arise and shepherd His flock  in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, because at that time He will be great to the ends of the earth.

This One will be
our peace. 

In the midst of the blur and details and business of Carols and of life, He, indeed, is our peace.

Emmanuel. God with us. I believe.