I will start with the shortest one since I am tired right now and my bed is looking at me like it wants to eat me. Without further ado, Christmas Post I:
Christmas Eve Service Choir
The background you need to make this story understandable: I have a dream list, I don't know how to sing (friends tease that I'm not an alto or soprano, but just tone deaf :D ) and I go to a church that does a Christmas Eve Eve and Christmas Eve service/show.
So there I was one Sunday morning at about 10:00 reading through the little bulletin, with various announcements. "We are looking for people to join the Christmas Choir to perform at the Christmas Eve services. 18 and older, no formal experience needed. E-mail Brittany Kauflin for details or to sign-up."
For some odd reason, I really thought this was something I should do. After all, number 25 on my dream list was "Perform Something on Stage." Choir's perform on stage, and I sure wasn't going to be doing a tap-dance solo on stage anytime soon! To the shock, awe, laughter and even horror of my friends, I signed up. Kristen ChristmasChoirSinger Snyder - oooo, that has a nice ring to it.
(me, my new and awesome friend Liz, and my old and awesome friend Lyd on performance night)
The first day of Choir practice came on a dangerously cold Monday. I literally ran inside the church to the room above the bookstore. The people walking in ahead of me grabbed black binders, so I did too.
"Shoot, it's sheet music. I hope I don't have to use this."
I have a number of funny stories about the reactions I got from me being there, as well as the things I said while I was there (by the way, in music when someone is telling you to sing "before" they might be meaning the chord "B4.")
I didn't really know what I was doing. I certainly didn't come prepared with a highlighter and pencil. I wasn't taking sips of lukewarm water throughout the night. I wasn't holding my binder properly (not that I was looking at it anyway.) I was the only who thought fortissimo sounded delicious. But I made my way through the night, and actually had lots of fun.
Fast forward a few weeks, and it was the dress-rehearsal. All of us choir-lings were cheery, festive and taking it waaaaay more seriously then we needed to be, but thats alright :D We shuffled to our spot on stage, I fumbled around looking for the page to be on (turns out the sheet music is awesome - if you know what you are looking at...) and then smiled my head off. I sang too, but mostly smiled. I was having a ball. Like the ball Cinderalla went to? That was the kind of ball I was having on my face. I was just SO happy. The words to the songs were amazing, everyone sounded so good, I was standing next to someone playing a french horn and that's just cool. I loooooved it.
We finished our little singing introduction then got to watch the 40 minute show before we had to sing again. I was very much looking forward to seeing it! But I was a little surprised I was impacted as I was.
There was one scene where Jesus and two disciples were with a blind man. The disciples were trying to figure out why he was blind. Why had God "punished" him with blindness? Was it his fault? Was it his parents fault? Who was to blame?
Jesus' beautiful answer:
“It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the glorious works of God might be displayed in him."
I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Wow. How amazing is that?
I loved it. As I sit there watching the rest of the play, I couldn't help but think about how God really does put certain things in our lives for reasons - good reasons! Glorious reasons! They aren't cruel punishments, but ways for us to show the world about how good God is! To reflect Him and His name!
Whether you are in a season of suffering or rejoicing, looking or finding, waiting or acting, crying or laughing - or some combination of those, we know that God is doing something. It's not in vain, it's not for no reason and it's not without hope. And it's all to bring Him glory!
I sat there in my white shirt and black pants, bleary-eyed, thinking about my life. Oh, how I want this time to be well spent. I want the "glorious works of God" to be displayed in me.
Through working as a photographer - God be glorified!
Through being a friend - God be glorified!
Through being a sister and daughter - God be glorified!
I needed that 15-second scene to be reminded of what this is all about. I was sweetly reminded of why I celebrate Christmas and why I can sing the songs that I do!
Shortly after that little "moment" we all rose and took our places on stage for the final segment of singing.
Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
I started tearing up.
"Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary."
My lips started quivering.
"Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary."
Ah, let the tears flow.
And I was a mess - God be glorified!