Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Phil. 3:15
Today I was confronted with several of my own mistakes. We were practicing the Advent/Christmas hymn program with the 5th-8th graders and I realized that I had never fixed the typos in the draft of the service I gave to the secretaries and that they then attached to the email yesterday (and it's in the announcement section below, with a link to watch). That means the bulletin you have for tomorrow’s online service won’t perfectly match what the kids are saying. No biggie. Please excuse the typos, but also, please print out a copy for yourself. The 8th graders will be reading a lot of explanations between the hymns. Those words are in your bulletin but we will not be putting them up on the screen in the recording so that the viewer can see the readers. That means if you do better reading than listening, you’ll be glad to have a printed copy you can read along with even if he words are a tad different in a few places due to corrections.
My second mistake was in assigning the readers. Since the service involves the band and bell choir in the balcony and the other choirs on the main floor, I was supposed to make sure I didn’t assign an 8th grader to read right before or after he or she needed to be upstairs. But of course we got our signals crossed about when they would be playing. Even though I had a bulletin in my hand and could have easily surmised when people needed to be where, I went from memory on it and got it exactly wrong. So we had to make a bunch of changes in the middle of the rehearsal. And nothing puts a nervous 8th grader more at ease than having their part changed at the last minute.
But they will be fine. We have good, confident readers and a lot of musical talent in our school. It would be great if we could pack the church to the gills doing an Advent/Christmas program. But I certainly expect that everyone who participates in the hymn-sing adaptation will be blessed by it. Just seeing young children learning and singing the ageless words gives a person hope and a sense of peace and joy about what could be a bleak future.
The decisions we make, and the mistakes we make in executing them, are not part of God’s revealed will. “Those of you who are mature,” as St. Paul calls them, know that the human side of church life is filled with people making the best decisions they can, which isn’t necessarily the same thing as the only right decision. The mature also know that church life is also filled with people acting on our plans with normal human limitations and mistakes. Not every hand bell player has great rhythm. Not every choir member has perfect pitch. Not every writer of program scripts has great typing skills (*cough*). But every Christian united by faith in Jesus Christ can receive the perfect blessings God gives through such services.
In Christ, Pastor Speckhard
Rev. Peter Speckhard, Senior Pastor at St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church, Munster, Indiana