Running a Christian website is not the cash cow one might think, so to supplement my income I work nights and weekends at a local store. Our hours throughout the Christmas holidays are extended, often until midnight, so for the past several years the holidays have rushed by in a frenzied blur.
Last night as I left work, I debated going to church. I was tired. My back hurt. Several customers had been rude and ill-tempered with me. But I once again had that feeling that the holidays were passing me by, so I headed to the nearest church, Bellevue Baptist Church, for their program “How Do You Welcome a King?” I hoped it would be one of those programs where there were many Christmas carols and where the audience got to sing along to lend their voices in praise. I got some of what I wished for and more than I bargained for.
The program opened with a medley of songs including several carols played on an accompaniment track. It was really quite nice. I don’t need to see the orchestra pit or the stringed quartet actually playing to enjoy the music. The opening number, “Celebrate,” while not a traditional carol, was melodious and upbeat and set the mood for the rest of the choral service which, to my early disappointment, consisted mainly of non-traditional songs.
As the narrator explained, while all of us have asked the question “What do you give the person who has everything” the Bellevue Baptist program asked a different question: “What do you give someone who MADE everything?” The program, while quite contemporary, included some traditional songs in choruses or medleys, and those songs were my favorites. The Bellevue Baptist Choir has some lovely soprano voices and they know how to use them! Several of the songs had exceptional harmonies with ringing high notes.
The “Procession of the Kings” included three men dressed as the three wise men, which was a nice touch, and “The Little Drummer Boy” was one of my favorite numbers as it not only was a wonderful traditional tune, but it featured a little drummer boy who was as cute as a button. The only discordant note was the teenaged soloist for “Sing Noel.” With so many seasoned soprano voices to choose from, the song, which didn’t appear to call specifically for a young voice, might have been better served by a stronger voice.
For someone hungry to hear and sing Christmas carols, I left not completely satisfied, but as someone who needed to be reminded there are many ways to welcome and worship a king, I left quite refreshed. It was an altogether satisfying way to spend a Sunday night in December. Maybe it wasn’t precisely what I was looking for, but it was exactly what I needed.
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