So Christmas morning dawns, quiet, contemplative, and full, the jubilant songs of praise from Christmas Eve echoing still, hearts full and spirits resonating with the hope, the peace, the joy, and the love that defined Advent.
Yesterday evening, for the first time in 33-years of ministry, Rebekah and I were involved in three services of worship. Each one was unique, and each experience was a beautiful re-telling of the story that never gets old.
At 4:00, the family service, I played guitar with my friend Tim for “The Needed Time,” a creative interpretation that included the children’s choir, blues (Now is the needed time), Mary singing an Elvis song to Jesus (Love me Tender), and some of the best storytelling I’ve ever heard.
7:00 we had the traditional “Lessons & Carols,” completely packing the CLC. Of course it wasn’t that traditional, as the music was a hybrid of the Praise Band and the Choir. God rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, for example, was the Bare-Naked-Ladies version. Good stuff!
Later, after all the young families were snug in their beds, we did a quiet version of lessons and carols in the sanctuary, with communion too. What touched my heart was the number of young people who showed up, some not even associated with our church or any church at all.
Bottom line, God was present, the Gospel was proclaimed, and – here in Wake Forest – Advent 2014 reached a profound and beautiful crescendo on the holiest of nights.
So, MERRY CHRISTMAS to all. Peace, love, and promise – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.