Chinese Church Voices

The Joy of Preparing for Christmas

Chinese Church Voices is an occasional column of the ChinaSource Blog providing translations of original writing by Christians in China. The views represented are entirely those of the original author; inclusion in Chinese Church Voices does not imply or equal an endorsement by ChinaSource.

As Christmas Day approaches, many churches in China have already been busy planning evangelistic holiday programs leading up to the Christmas season. In this article, originally posted at Gospel Times, the author shares about the joy he feels watching his church prepare for this year’s Christmas events. He also encourages Christian readers to participate in similar preparations, noting especially the fellowship experienced by performers leading up to the Christmas events.

Join in This Year's Christmas Performances

Christmas is almost here and already I see brothers and sisters getting busy. Churches all around have started early to prepare Christmas performances. As Christmas approaches, many churches mobilize everyone in the church. Everyone is busy rehearsing the praise program, preparing Christmas gifts, inviting friends to church, and selecting the most suitable programs. In short, the day of the Savior's birth is a major holiday for us. Of course, we know that these are all preparations for evangelism; we do this so that more people will come to know the lead actor of Christmas—the Savior Jesus.

Yet, each time we rehearse I've experienced a profound sense of fellowship with brothers and sisters while we practice for the Christmas program. Many of us have been uplifted during each rehearsal. Our relationships have gotten closer through the fellowship that comes from rehearsing together. The benefit and blessing that come with rehearsing for Christmas performances are something of which brothers and sisters who are willing to participate can take advantage.

Over this past month of everyone coming together each night to practice at church, I've seen how our relationships are getting better and better. I've seen how you all are gradually pulling together like a big family. I've seen how you are getting to know each other, becoming more familiar, and even growing together in unity. Normally, on Sunday after worship everyone just goes back to their own home and there's little opportunity to fellowship together. But, before and after each rehearsal this past month we pray together and pray for each other. When the weather is bad brothers and sisters who have cars offer a lift before and after rehearsals. I've seen how much time and energy everyone has spent rehearsing for this Christmas, from the very beginning when no one showed interest, to slowly gathering steam, and then taking initiative to start ahead of schedule. While the rehearsals have been going on I've seen lives maturing. I'm so grateful, so very grateful. All of this has been God’s handiwork all along.  

I realized during rehearsal just how very seriously brothers and sisters take this. Even though no one is a professional, they strive to make each movement, each line, each look, each dance step perfect, lest they fail to move the audience. Each person knows every detail of the performance. Those offstage give advice and they collaborate on how to make a move or an act better. Even though some people don't get the moves exactly right, brothers and sisters next to them very patiently help them improve. After the first run through they discuss during the break how to improve. Even while they are taking a break you can see team members chatting and practicing moves at the same time. Looking around you can see performers from other acts doing the same. I am very touched and I know that God is working. Even though we are not professionals, we understand God will give us wisdom and he will see us through as long as we are willing to devote the time to him.  

It was a tough trek in the past month to make the transition from being completely clueless to being on the right track, from being shy and awkward to becoming a unified team, from rocky to smooth dancing. But, because we know all of this is for the glory of God's name—because we know that everyone is striving towards that day—therefore, we can see happiness and warmth during rehearsal; therefore, we can continue to persevere; therefore, we can see that rehearsal for the program is a process of drills, it is a process of life growth.

May all the brothers and sisters who are practicing for Christmas programs be genuinely moved by God, because he alone is the Lord of the church and the source of every blessing. A life of nonstop growth requires continually fertile soil, not the occasional nourishment of unexpected sunlight and rain. This is true of life and true of our spiritual lives as well.  

Dear Lord Jesus, I pray that you will accept the programs each church is carefully preparing for Christmas. Help us advance the gospel. You are the fountain of love and wisdom. We ask that you will lead us in preparation for Christmas programs. Your heart is always with us, moving us so that no matter if we are teachers or classmates we will all become the vessels that you will us to be, and channels to transmit the gospel and manifest your love, your salvation, and your eternal blessings to others so that more people will know you, believe in you, and be saved for the glory of the Lord. We pray this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen!

Original Article: 鼓励你参加今年圣诞节目的演出, Gospel Times
Translated, edited and reposted with permission.

Image Credit: MC Kline
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ChinaSource Team

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