ok, so I got just buried enough in the craziness of the Christmas season at the church, making sure that I was able to spend time with my family and, of course, my outward ministry that I completely defaulted on like, three straight weeks of worship confessionals. So, I'm just gonna recap some of my thoughts on the end of the holiday season with you in one big 'ol Christmas confessional.
The weekend of the 14th was especially fun for me 'cause of the feature tune we did. My wife sang 'I'm Letting Go' by Francesca Battistelli which, oddly enough, works perfectly with the story of Mary. I, myself, am a huge fan of using non-traditional Christmas tunes to communicate the many layers of the Christmas story. It was a really tough tune to learn how to play on the piano, and I always dig a good challenge, so that was uber fun. More of the fun Christmas-tunes-interwoven-in-worship stuff, too... I had a really good time with that this year.
another weekend I was excited about primarily 'cause of the feature tune. This fall I presented at a national conference that happens to be right here in my backyard in St. Charles, MO called "Write About Jesus"... at the writers' night on Friday, a guy by the name of Don Poythress got up and sang an unbelievable tune called 'Joseph' that silenced the crowd before manifesting a standing ovation. I asked if there was any way he could send a demo my way so I could try to squeeze it into our Christmas season and he burned me a CD right then and there. Unbelievable guy, unbelievable song. I didn't do it justice, but I loved the opportunity to do it... we also did an original video of a modern day Joseph story... kinda based on the idea that if Joseph were here now, faced with the same situation, and decided to self-submit a video for some intervention reality show type thing, here's what it might look like:
Ok, so Christmas Eve was probably one of the most special services I've ever been a part of at MSC--for a myriad of reasons. It started a few months ago when we began unpacking the idea of doing something different for Christmas Eve... not different complex, different simple. acoustic. no band. That began to seem a touch lazy, so we thought about how we could do it with some intentionality. We ended up clearing the entire stage and bringing in a Steinway (& Sons) baby grand piano for starters. As it turned out, it ended up being my grandmother's piano that we brought in, which made it very special for our family as it's been in her house since before I can remember. Anyway, we brought in 3 string players and some percussion and filled the stage with candles and it was very cool. We did three original video pieces including this one:
My wife (who is an amazing vocalist) sang an arrangement that I did of 'O Holy Night' with an acoustic guitar, the piano and strings... very cool. Then we sang 'Silent Night' with candles and the whole deal... cheesy? maybe. I love it.
Anyway, so that was our Christmas season... hoped yours was incredible and I look forward to continuing connect with all of you here in 2009! Happy New Year!