IMG_1284On Thursday I left the office early.  Travel back home then back into town necessitated it.  We had an appointment for the evening that we did not want to miss.

A new friend had invited us to the Christmas program as the church that he called home.  We were curious.  Both my bride and I love this time of year; who doesn’t love Christmas?

Our expectations were totally dismantled.  We have never experienced anything like this.  The program engulfed us.

IMG_1291The house lights dimmed and then colors, music, action exploded on the stage, in the aisles, on the walls and above from the ceiling.  Anchoring the music was the choir.  It was full, powerful, full-ranging and lifted the audience to heights rivaling the best of theatrical performances.

But, something else added to the evening.  The story, the simple story, the real story, the eternal story, the personal story of Christmas was unfolded.  Here the Bible underpinned something spectacular for all but most importantly for each individual who would listen and believe.

IMG_1290Isaiah’s words came from the prophet in word and song.  It was both haunting and hopeful.  Powerful and personal that part of the Christmas story resonated deeply in my spirit.

Fulfilling the words of his prophecy, history unfolded with the birth of the Savior, the very Son of God.  Simeon’s exclamation of his hope fulfilled was so clear.  Shepherds, angels, live sheep, a live donkey added to the remarkable testimony.

Christmas was relived and experienced in real-time.  I could not just see it but feel it, sense it and live it.  The floor vibrated, the air was filled with sound and fragrance.

The Magi from the East came.  Their entourage was resplendent.  Besides the rich wardrobe of nations from exotic IMG_1307realms came the star of the show, an elephant, a real elephant.

It walked royally down the aisle that we had used to get to our seats.  The gasps in the audience were in unison.  This cast member was both stunning and fun.

But, Christmas is just the beginning of the story.  This program kept the historic episodes flowing.  Everything pointed to the most important climax of Easter.

IMG_1321Our Savior died for our sins and rose again to offer us eternal life.  The resurrection was spectacular on stage and certainly in history and for all eternity.  To see this depicted on the stage was sensational.

But, entertainment was not the end of the performance.  Every detail was amazing but the invitation summed it all the best.  Pastor Gregg Matte walked up to the stage with his engaging spirit and highlighted the key part of faith in the Savior. 

He invited all who wanted the true Christmas story to personally be theirs.  We all prayed.  Eternities were changed that night.  It was not just a brilliant performance, it was an eternally impactful experience.  Merry Christmas!

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography