ATLANTA — Christmas is the season for singing. Whether it’s Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas,” Gene Autry crooning “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer,” Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas,” Mark Lowery’s “Mary, Did You Know,” or a group of carolers harmonizing “O Come All Ye Faithful,” Christmas is simply a season for singing.
The best songs of Christmas have been birthed in the hearts of those who know the Savior and are about the coming of the Babe of Bethlehem who was God manifested in the flesh and “the express image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).
Greg Smalley writing for Focus on the Family, says, “Open up the book of Luke and you’ll find that the Scripture passages narrating the Christmas story are filled with song. There’s Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). There’s Zechariah’s prophecy of the appearance of the ‘Dayspring from on high’ (Luke 1:68-79). There’s Simeon’s accolade to the ‘light that brings revelation to the Gentiles’ (Luke 2:29-32).
“And, of course, there’s the song of the heavenly host: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’ (Luke 2:14). From the moment of Christ’s birth right down to this present moment, Christmas has been celebrated in words and music.”
Churches across Georgia and around the world celebrate the birth of Christ by singing songs of praise relative to the advent of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Many churches create nativity scenes with shepherds and wise men visiting the Son of God in a lowly manger. The drama that centers on Bethlehem’s grandest event is generally accompanied with songs that herald the coming of Christ to earth.
Ten years of First Family Christmas
This past weekend First Baptist Atlanta celebrated the 10th anniversary of First Family Christmas. The program was beautiful and inspiring. The presentation started with a segment of Christmas music and dramatic sketches reminiscent of the 1940s.
The last hour of the program was focused on sacred music and marked by excellence and inspiration. Many things made an indelible impression upon the minds and hearts of those in attendance, one of which was the creativity and quality with which “Little Drummer Boy” was presented. A unit of five “drummer boys” marched from the back of the church to the front accompanying the choir and orchestra in precision of movement and perfect rhythm.
Marc Ivey, worship pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL and concert artist, sang “Mary Did You Know” with the choir and orchestra.
The Collingsworth Family were the special guests. The Collingsworth Family consists of parents Phil and Kim in addition to their daughters Brooklyn, Courtney and Olivia and son Phillip. This family’s musical blend and exquisite harmony are always a blessing.
Phil’s expertise with the trumpet was evident in his solo and Brooklyn and Courtney’s skill in performing their violin duet was uplifting.
Lifted in worship
The excitement, spiritual anointing, family emphasis, and musical excellence are unparalleled. Kim’s giftedness as a pianist is awe-inspiring and many thought her rendition of “O Holy Night” accompanied by First Baptist Atlanta’s Orchestra could not be equaled.
However, when the 250-voice First Atlanta Worship Choir and Worship Orchestra under the leadership of Worship Pastor Rodney Brooks concluded the program with “The Hallelujah Chorus,” the people were lifted to the heights in rapturous worship.
Near the end of the service the nativity scene was re-enacted with not only shepherds and wise men bowing before the Christ child, but 21st century citizens from all walks of life bowing before the One who was and is able to transform an empty and broken life.