Still basking in the glow of what was a fantastic day yesterday here at Legacy. Our God blessed us with a beautiful day of worship and fellowship and thanksgiving and praise.
During our worship assembly we were able to hook up with two of our young missionary couples via the miracle of the internet skype. David and Olivia Nelson joined us from their living room in Kharkov, Ukraine where they were just beginning their Sunday evening Russian worship service at the same time we were beginning our Sunday morning assembly. The greatest part of that five minutes was being able to meet Andrei, a brand new brother in Christ who was just baptized last Sunday. Our people at Legacy broke out into joyful clapping when they saw Andrei and heard David tell his story. What a blessing! Andrei was able to physically see and hear and participate in a part of this larger, world-wide, international, eternal Kingdom of which he’s now a member. How great for Andrei to feel some kind of connection, even if for just a moment through an internet camera to a group thousands of miles away, to God’s Church which is assembling all over the world to celebrate our common salvation in Christ. How cool!
Later in our service we got Corey and Emily Mullins to join us from Australia. And what a blessing to see Emily’s pregnant belly from the other side of the world! I just asked her to stand up in front of their camera so we could all see the evidence of their little boy who’s going to be born at the end of March. And, somewhat surprisingly, she did! So there’s Emily’s belly at 3:00 AM Monday morning in Wollongong on the big screens at Legacy. And again, the laughter and clapping and great joy that broke out in our worship center. It was so wonderful.
Christmas time is great. It reminds us of friends and family we don’t get to see as often as we’d like, like the Nelsons and Mullins. And it reminds us that this Gospel story we own and live is for everybody. It is intended to be told to and shared with the whole world. It really is good news of great joy for all people. I also think just reflecting on the nativity story does us a lot of good. We recall that God loves us so much he came down to this earth in the form of a helpless baby. To relate to us. To totally identify with us. He lived with us, walked with us, became one of us. He died for us and was raised for us in order to save us. That is Jesus. That is the Gospel. And that’s a story worth telling. It’s worth repeating. And it’s worth celebrating.
Last night we all participated in our annual Legacy Family Christmas. All of our children’s classes sang Christmas songs. And we smiled and laughed and took pictures and shot video. We all sang “like Columbus!” after “you’ll go down in hist-or-y!” And a lot of us remembered when our own children were that young and cute.
A few adults also climbed up on the stage and sang Christmas songs for us. We admired their courage. And their harmony. And Gary Giles’ music stand.
And then the Legacy ministers and staff performed what’s become our traditional rendition of a Christmas classic. I’m not sure anything will ever top last year’s “Working for the Church at Legacy” to the tune of “Winter Wonderland.” But it was still pretty good. Starting our number with the Bible class bells that are hooked into our building’s fire warning system is always good for a cheap laugh. Many people clapped their hands and whooped with the mention in our song of our new children’s minister, Jennifer Gambill. And our playful jabs at Jim’s new area of ministry, the crowded church hallways, and our new pictorial directories also seemed to be appreciated.
Two of you have asked me to put the words to our song on the blog like I did last year. And, to echo the words from the last lines of last year’s number, hope I’m still employed at Legacy!
Several bells, several bells;
That noise is not very pretty.
Hear them ring, endlessly;
Don’t we all love Legacy?
Crowded concourse, busy concourse,
lots of signs and displays;
in the hall there’s a feeling of chaos.
Turkey boxes, baby baskets,
fifty-two sign-up sheets;
And behind every table, you’ll hear:
Candle sales, cookbook sales,
it’s hard to walk through the concourse.
It’s the hall; not the mall!
But we still love Legacy.
Staffing classrooms, work the nursery,
who is teaching fifth grade?
All the work will be done now by Jennifer.
Trips to Branson, games and movies,
this is Jim’s ministry.
And at evening assemblies you’ll see:
Silver hairs, silver hairs,
potlucks and quilting and Jack’s class!
Hobo stew, it’s what they do.
Soon it will be Jackie Crain!
Fill your card out, use your own pen,
you won’t find one in here.
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha – ha, ha, ha.
New directory, take your picture,
awkward smile after smile.
Just who are all these people in here?
Ministers and the staff
wish you a very merry Christmas.
Ring-a-ling, hear us sing.
We sang this song without Lance!
Don’t we all love Legacy!
Yes – we – all – love – Leg – a – cy!