For as long as I can remember, at Christmas time I have been involved in some sort of Christmas musical production or another at church. As one who loves to sing, I have always been on stage in these productions. So I am very familiar with the work, practice, stress and ultimately the joy of such an event. Last night I got to see it through a different set of eyes.
We (4 other staff and I) took a group of 13 girls to Ingleside Baptist Church’s Christmas program, “More Than Amazing”. It was a beautiful musical production which glorified God through the sharing of the true Christmas story. But these wonderful believers glorified God with more than a fancy musical. The entire Body of Christ at Ingleside glorified God by giving of themselves to make a difference in these young people’s lives.
You see, in a production of such magnitude, one can applaud the people on stage. They have certainly put in hours and hours of practice and work, both at home and with the group. I know, I’ve been there. And the man who put it together and directed it all, he gets a lot of kudos, for he did a fantastic job. So did the pastor, who brought us a touching message in the middle of the program. But I want to also recognize the people behind the scenes, the unsung heros who don’t get to take a bow on stage, whose voices may not ever be heard by those in attendance. Their reward is in heaven and it is richly deserved. There are the obvious people who were involved behind the scenes during the production, the sound and lighting techs, the stagehands, the person or persons who put the graphics on the walls. Well done! Thanks also to the individuals who designed and published the programs and advertisements. For what good is putting all that work into a production if no one knows about it? Thanks also to the families of the workers and performers, who probably haven’t seen much of their loved ones lately. This blessing to others has, perhaps, been a sacrifice for you.
As a first time visitor to Ingleside, I was especially appreciative of the dear souls who were standing out in the cold, directing traffic in the parking lot, and of the smiling saints who greeted us at the door and ushered us to the proper place, all the while telling us how glad they were we had come. What a wonderful, warm, inviting welcome. I imagine heaven to be something like that. The girls we brought, who weren’t entirely sure they wanted to be there but were glad they were at least getting out of the cottage, were more than excited when they found out there were refreshments after the production. They told each other to be good so they wouldn’t have to leave before the free food. So thank you to the dear saints who prepared the food, the drinks, and the tables for the reception after the production. It was more important than you’ll ever know. I am sure there were some prayer warriors who were praying over this production also. It was obvious Satan was trying to throw a wrench into things on our end. “The prayers of a righteous person availeth much”, often more than we are ever aware. Thank you for your faithfulness. God’s Spirit was evident.
And finally, I am especially grateful to the special people from Ingleside who come to the cottage every Wednesday to bring a message of love and hope to these girls. They have built some precious relationships and their encouragement means the world to these dear young people. It was these saints who invited us to the production, and because of their patient involvement in the girls lives every week, the girls were, however slightly, open to the idea of something new to them… namely, the love of their Creator.
I am the most blessed of all. I didn’t have to do the work of being in a production this year. But I got to witness the results of all those who did put in that work. I got to see the Spirit of God, working through many hands and hearts of fellow believers, touch the hearts of hurting teens and, perhaps, bring a small measure of healing. Thank you, Church, for being who God has called you to be. May He continue to bless you as you strive for His Kingdom here on earth.