The sanctuary was full on Sunday evening, December 18, as families and friends gathered for this year’s Christmas concert. Gary Riler directed the orchestra, combined choirs, ensembles, and narrators as they presented a musical titled “Joy, Joy, Joy: Celebrating the season, the story, the Savior.”
After a welcome from Pastor Dave Lambert, the symphony orchestra played two songs, including one of the most famous and fun Christmas orchestra pieces, “Sleigh Ride.” Following that, the congregation sang a few carols as musicians took their places for the musical. The program began with the narrators, Hunter Cripps and Yvonne Wilson, talking about the different types of Christmas joy, such as the joy of spending time with family and children receiving presents on Christmas morning. They pointed out that the greatest joy is celebrating the Savior, Emmanuel—God with us.
The opening song, “Christmas Angels,” featured Marcus Luka as the soloist, and the next song, “That Joyful Noise!” included a choir of lively children in festive attire, singing about how exciting Christmas can be. Caleb Copko and Diana Lambert were soloists in “Christmas Day,” which spoke of how the joy of Christmas can also be recognized in quiet moments. The next song, “The Promise,” featured Jeremy Barrett as soloist and recounted how the Jewish people waited centuries for God to send the Messiah. Then an octet sang “Wonderful,” with Kristi Riler as soloist, telling how Jesus was Heaven’s greatest treasure, yet He was sent to be the Savior of the world. Sarah Asaya was the soloist for the jubilant “Sing Gloria Tonight! with Glory, Glory,” and also for the poignant “Emmanuel,” which reflected on how God came to dwell with mankind. “Offering with His Glory Name” spoke of offering worship as a response to the gift of Christ and Ashley Morgan was the soloist, and then Peter Moberg was the soloist in “Son of God,” which outlined how God’s plan of salvation was fulfilled through Christ.
The finale song was truly a culmination of Christmas joy, a combination of “Joy to the World!” “How Great Our Joy!” “Joyful, Joyful,” and “Christmas Angels.” The music of the evening was a beautiful reminder of all the reasons to rejoice with great joy at this time of year!