I woke up at 4:00am yesterday. Thankfully, I had actually drifted off to sleep earlier than usual the night before, but still I had had little sleep and was unable to find anymore. So I went about my day's business at 6:00am - turning heat on in buildings, getting a shower, and eating a delicious breakfast of eggs, bacon, and waffles.
I spent the morning doing a lot of video editing from this past summer for our summer staff and then some time preparing for my high school basketball activity in the afternoon. I'll plug a side note here to say that I am proud of those guys and all they accomplished in learning the game of basketball and about Jesus Christ. My devotion with them was a simple encouragement that God's thoughts toward them are many and full of love.
I left the activity quite quickly to get on the road to head to Charlotte to meet up with my good friends, Andrew and Katherine Liggitt. After writing my first blog concerning not being around the them anymore and wishing for opportunities to be with them, it was awesome to get to see them again. We met at Chick-fil-a and enjoyed the wonderful food and drink that only they can provide. Then it was off to the concert.
I'll jump back briefly. I was feeling the effects of being up for so long on my trip. I started thinking that maybe this is not something that I should do every year and simply have fun with it one last time here.
I was simply blown away. Even though I had experienced this last year, it was even greater this year. The musicianship and artistry that was carried out on the stage was breathtaking. They opened with Hosanna from Andrew's latest album and I was so happy to hear it live. Then they did a couple of rounds of individual artists performing a couple of their own songs. One of my favorites was Bebo Norman singing Great Light of the World and the arrangement was gorgeous with the acoustic and electric guitars, the accordion, and the hammered dulcimer. They finished the round with Andrew's song, The Good Confession, and we were stirred by the simple truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
After intermission, Andrew and the crew performed his entire album, Behold the Lamb of God. It is not simply a Christmas album. Andrew starts with the Passover and the symbolism found there and works his way through Israel's history to the birth of Christ and the entire reason He was born - to die for our sin. Again, the lyrics, instruments, and arrangements were awesome. Andrew nearly began to cry as he sang Behold the Lamb of God. The concert finished with the stage and crowd singing acapella O Come All Ye Faithful. And as Andrew, Katherine, and I left, we knew we had been a part of a very special evening that worshipped the Savior.
“No, the Bible isn’t a list of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne–everything–to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!
You see, the best thing about this Story is–it’s true.
There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.
It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle–the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.”