When Sunday service is canceled the pastor….FRETS! Did she make the right decision? Will people think she didn’t have a sermon prepared? Then, her mind wonders to the Sunday morning offering that might have been (She keeps waiting for that December financial miracle she was told happens here!!!)
Eventually, she reviews the bulletin and announcements for December 22 (She hopes you have too!) and reads through the hymn that Marjorie Jantz chose for the morning, Oh how joyfully number 209 in the Hymnal: A Worship Book.
Here is Marjorie’s reflection that would have been shared on Sunday:
O Du Frohliche is a German Christmas hymn written in the early 1800’s by Johannes Falk, a German man who later founded an orphanage for children. I remember learning this hymn as a child in the old wooden original Mennonite church which previously stood on the current site of First Mennonite Church in Newton. We learned the hymn in German initially and I would like to sing one or more verses in German today. At that time, not only the hymns but the entire service itself was in German at the old wooden First Mennonite Church. I recall being more impressed with this hymn as a high school student when the words took on a more significant meaning to me. What impressed me most about this hymn then and still does today is the emphasis the verse places on praise of our Lord Jesus as well as the beautiful melody this hymn presents.
Hopefully we all found a way to praise our Lord Jesus on December 22. We don’t always need to come to church to do that! Of course, we DO hope you come to the Christmas Eve Service TONIGHT at 6:30 and December 29 Sunday morning worship. It will be a week of miracles to be sure: First, the virgin birth and then meeting our annual budget. Can this pastor get an Amen?