Dec 8, 2008

Not Your Father's Drummer Boy

A Modern Worship Christmas

So the Cool Yule & I got in our fanciest Christmas duds to join Patti at her church, Shandon Baptist, for their Modern Worship Christmas, where their contemporary praise band was "turned loose for the holidays."
"Turned loose" is putting it mildly. The service was phenomenal, but first, let me set the scene. I have been mildly antagonistic towards traditional church Christmas programs lately, with the antagonism hitting an all time high this year that resulted in my boycotting all such programs. You know what I'm talking about. Towels on heads, bathrobes thrown over shoulders, pretending we have Mary & Joseph or the shepherds or whatever. This doesn't work for me. I am not elevated to another spiritual level, I get sidetracked & sarcastic & can't overlook the Reeboks on the wise men or the lumpy pillow in "mary's" (wink, wink) robe.
But Patti invited me to this Christmas program & I'd do anything for her & it's a big, attractive church, so there I was.
Best decision of my life. The service was held in Shandon's huge sanctuary, filled capacity, & 15 minutes into it, Eva says,
"This is almost like church." {smile}
The background was wooden fencing with snow, a forest of white-lit evergreens & snow all over the ground. Four women and a few men sang in various groupings, including Melanie Frye, from Charlotte, my former church.
The instruments were varied. There were several screaming guitars, not my favorite instrument, but very talented. The service began with traditional Christmas hymns put to a contemporary beat, very, very good. There was a short period in the middle where they brought in some mountain music instruments, silenced the drums, gathered in a cozy corner and sang a few bluesy songs. Eva loved the fake snow that blustered around the stage during these songs.
Earlier this season, I mentioned that I was going to see how often I could squeeze the words "Pa rum pum pum pum" into my conversations. I was just fooling because The Little Drummer Boy is such a dorky song. But tonight.... at Shandon... that song was revived for me. I have never heard this song performed like this before in my life. I was speechless and giggly, possibly drooling. First, the singer, wow. He did a David Cook and changed the song into a raspy, in your face rock n roll. Then in the middle of the song, he disappeard and we focused on the 3 complete sets of drums enclosed in their individual drum cages & the three drummers who had a bit of dueling going on. They were outstaging each other, doing crazier & crazier antics, playing faster & faster beats. That was probably the only time during the evening in which my focus was taken off of our Savior and celebrating the redemption and hope we have in Him. For those few moments, I was astounded by humanity. In a good way. After the dueling drums, the crowd cheered and laughed and quickly focused back on Christ as the singer reappeared and drew us back in. The message was succinctly pronounced throughout the evening:
"tell a troubled world there is a Savior."
The entire service was not rock n roll, it was a complete variety of praise music. There was an A Capella song that was fantastic. Silent Night was soulful. We sang Chris Tomlin's "How Great is our God" with some altered lyrics that made it beautifully Christmas. While singing a creatively altered version of "It Came upon the Midnight Clear" I was comforted by lyrics I've never noticed before and are, my friend, my prayer for you this season:
"All ye, beneath life's crushing load,
whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
with painful steps and slow,
Look now!
for glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing:
O rest beside the weary road & hear the angels sing."


Anonymous said...

Shandon has a tremendous outreach to the young adult population. It's a blessing to see.

The Seeker said...

Sorry I missed it - but glad you didn't, oh fake nativity nay-sayer! God is so good, and He has a way of surprising us when we thought we couldn't be surprised, bringing us out of our funk to realize how awesome His gift to us really is!

Anonymous said...

yay, im glad you liked it. i was surprised eva did so well, especially since 2 minutes into it, she whispered in my ear, "is it almost over yet?" haha

Anonymous said...

I loved that concert! I'm trying to find some of those songs out on cd. Does anyone know of any good contemporary Christian cds?

Poof said...

Ashley - Go out to itunes and go to the Christian music. All the latest cds will be featured and you can listen to samples.