An Advent weekend

Besides work, Mark and I had a busy weekend that I only now have time to write about.

Friday night we went to the Christmas play at my church called Wrapped In the Unexpected.  This is the play I worked on the sets for.  Mark’s favorite moment in the play was when the children’s choir came in to sing a song, and they all started off cue.  The music director, Bill Allison, sort of loudly cleared his throat and then started them over at the proper time.  It was a cute moment!  However, my favorite part was when the bell choir played.  There were five players working the top range of bells, and my favorite young woman playing all the rest of the lower bells (the biggest, heaviest ones) by herself.  She is amazing to watch!  (She’s also our harpist.  She’s very talented!)

Saturday night after work, we went to a Menno gathering at the Graeber home.  We had an assortment of fondues; first dipping things in a delicious cheese fondue and dipping meats in a hot broth to cook, then dipping fruits and flavored breads in chocolate for dessert.  After the meal, we all repaired to the music room where the children put on a little talent show for us.  They played simple Christmas carols on the piano, danced to the Nutcracker, and whistled.  When we’d had enough, we called for the teenagers to perform for us.  Aaron and Abigail Graeber and their friend, Emily, have been singing in choirs since they were young children.  They performed a madrigal for us ocopelo, along with a couple other choral pieces.  One of them was a fun rendition of Silent Night in Pig Latin!  I was the only one who was able to identify it.  🙂

Sunday morning I went to my Sunday School class on A Flavius Josephus Christmas.  We learned some really interesting things about Herod the Great.  It’s almost as though God sanctioned his kingship because there were several instances where he came through incredible odds unscathed.  He once had a house fall down around him and he survived.  Another time he and his entire army weathered a terrible earthquake without harm when 30,000 others in that location were killed.  Then his army was outnumbered by Cleopatra’s army and his army won!  He even had a visionary dream about his brother’s death right before a messenger came to tell him of it.  It’s almost as if God wanted him to be the ruler at the time Christ was born!

During the worship service, Gabe preached a sermon the likes of which I’ve never heard during Advent before.  He preached about the Crucifixion.  Specifically, he spoke about what it was that the Roman Centurian saw and heard that made him say, “Surely this was the Son of God.”  It seemed very appropriate to remember that Christmas isn’t just about the birth of a little baby, but the birth of our Savior.

Then last night, Mark and I lit the second Advent candle and read the story of the appearance of an angel to Zaccharias and the birth of John the Baptist.  It has become tradition for us to celebrate the Sundays in Advent with readings for the weeks preceding Christmas.  If you have traditions around this time of year, write to me about them.

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