O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: bow before him, all the earth. – Psalm 96:9
- Quote from me, leaving the house with Rebekah for the 11:00 communion service Christmas Eve: “It’s a good thing I like going to church so much!”
It doesn’t hurt, of course, that we are part of such an amazingly positive, encouraging, Jesus-centered, alive community of faith. Not only that, but such an unbelievably talented, gifted, creative body of believers. No carbon-copy worship services at WFPC, this church offered three entirely unique worship experiences, each profoundly meaningful in its own way.
4:00, at the “Family Service,” various narrators shared the Christmas story via historical perspectives, the children’s choir, and a moving account of the “1914 Christmas Truce.”
I was privileged to play guitar and sing, along with pastor John Fawcett and my friend Tim Tinker. One song, where I sang along with the kids’ choir, appeared in the bulletin as “Derek Maul with the choir of Angels.” Gotta love it.
7:00 featured the combined Praise and Chancel choirs, lessons and carols, beautiful narration, and the youth dance team. It was, to date, probably the most meaningful and extraordinarily powerful presentations of contemporary Christmas Eve gospel music I’ve been privileged to witness. At the closing song 500-plus people were on their feet, entering into the spirit of praise and adoration. The Christian Life Center buzzed with such energy I think we could have powered most of North Raleigh had you hooked us to the grid.
Later, at 11:00, a surprisingly large crowd showed up for communion, candlelight, and carols. This was the most traditional worship service, Rebekah preached, and we left the church just after midnight lifted up by the beauty and the truth of the Christmas message.
There’s not much more I can write other than to repeat my constant refrain of thankfulness for the deep blessings we are experiencing here in this community.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays – DEREK
Gallery of Christmas Eve Pics – enjoy
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.