By Teri Hyler
On Sunday evening, December 19, 2010, the Mount Calvary Baptist Church adult choir and Children’s Joy Choir performed the Christmas Cantata-What God Wants for Christmas. The cantata was adapted from the children’s book What God Wants for Christmas by Family Life and was used with Family Life’s permission. The choirs read scriptures, sang songs, danced and told the story surrounding Jesus’ birth, all to the glory of God. The sanctuary was decorated with 7 large gift boxes and presents all around. The first 6 boxes contained a child who was a piece in the manger scene. [slide] As an adult choir member read scripture, the gift was opened and the child became part of the manger scene. Songs were sung for each gift presented. Box # 1 held Gabriel and “Christmas Angels” was sung with soloists Matthew Edwards and Gene Tanner. Box # 2 held Mary and “Mary, Did You Know” was sung with soloists D’Anna Tanner, Genesis Anderson and Hannah Grace Hyler. A version of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” was sung by Noah Hooks, Madison Bailey, Macie Bailey, Anna Grant and Kayden Johnson.
When Joseph emerged from Box # 3, “A Strange Way to Save the World” was sung with soloist Eric miller. Box # 4 contained God’s greatest gift to us, baby Jesus. “Happy Birthday, Jesus” was sung with soloists Savannah Miller and Logan Grice. Box # 5 held a shepherd and “Christmas Offering” was sung with soloists Bobbie Lee and Gene Tanner. Out of box # 6 emerged a wise man and “One King” was sung with soloist Debbie Hill. Each of the 6 boxes represented a gift God had given us, but box # 7 held what God wants for Christmas. As box # 7 was opened, “God Speaking” was sung by Gene Tanner and a mirror was brought out. Then we finally knew, what God wants for Christmas is YOU! “Me?” you ask… “Why is this so? I cannot wrap me and put on a bow!” No, you cannot; but what you can give are the choices you make in the life that you live. God wants you to know Him and love Him within, and this is called worship, an offering to Him. To do this, trust the resurrected Messiah, King Jesus, who died in your place when you didn’t deserve Him—that is called grace. Pray now and offer your life and your heart. Say, “Jesus, I need you. I’d like a new start. Forgive me today for the sins I’ve committed so one day in Heaven I will be permitted.” When you pray this decision, the heavens’ rejoice that you have made worship of God your life’s choice. God wants you to know Him, so choose every day, to love God and thank God and give Him all praise!”