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Awaken to Waiting

“Be patient, therefore, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient.” (James 5:7-8a, NRSVue)

Photo: Marianna Jordan

Advent is a season of waiting and reflecting. This Sunday, at 8:15 am, I will preach about the importance of waiting patiently on God to act. But for this article, I want to focus on reflecting as I share some thoughts about this past Sunday.

First, if you missed seeing our children sing with the Adult Choir at the 11:00 am Worship Service or couldn’t attend their Christmas Program Sunday evening, “Chimes in the Night,” you missed a special treat. On Sunday morning, the children in their red and blue choir robes were precious as they sang “Away in the Manger,” a song embedded in the choir’s anthem titled “How Quietly.” One of the dads told me Sunday night that his child commented that the other choir (i.e., the adults) sang the wrong song! Yet, the combination was truly amazing, and I’m thankful to Linda May and Daniel Ritch for making that happen. I know others helped, too, especially helping the children prepare, and I’m grateful for your contribution.

Then, on Sunday evening, the Children’s Ministry put together the Christmas Program, “Chimes in the Night,” which was truly spectacular. The children responded so well to complex music and challenging dialogue to present a magnificent story about the miracles of Christmas. Marianna Jordan, our Director of Children’s Ministry, pulled it all together and utilized the talents of Rebecca Gans (Director), Linda May, Whitney O’Neal, Argie Campbell, Travis Short, Ashley Lozano, Tim Jackson, and the Nursery Staff, Lydia Snyder, Grayson Dolby, and Eden Dolby. The party afterward was coordinated by Mary Lee Dobbins, Mitch Dobbins, Paul Michael, Stephanie Winborn, and Tucker Buchanan, along with all the goodies provided by parents. We had a glorious day at First United Methodist Church of Florence this past Sunday!

Next Sunday, December 11th, will also be a wonderful day with the Adult Choir’s presentation at 11:00 am of “The Mystery and the Majesty” by Joseph Martin. The choir from First Cumberland Presbyterian Church will join our choir, as will a 24-piece orchestra. Music is a multisensory medium that adds richness and grandeur to the miraculous story of Christmas. If you can’t join us at 11:00 am, both choirs will also present it at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church on Darby Drive at 5:00 pm Sunday.

We’ve got a lot going on during Advent, and it’s a joy to share it with all of you! May God continue to bless us and grow our understanding of his love for us in this merry season. I hope to see you Sunday at 8:15 am for Traditional Worship, 9:00 am for Family Worship, or 11:00 am for the Cantata—and don’t forget to bring a friend!

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