After an exciting and quick weekend, Monica and I are home from New York City safe and sound. We enjoyed the excitement of the city and the millions of people that shared the sidewalk with us. We made all of the tourist stops that our sore legs would allow us to make and we stopped in most of the major stores that were fully decorated for Christmas. The first night, Wednesday, was overwhelming. The speed of the city, the number of people and the brightness of the lights was a slight contrast to life following a tractor or Amish buggy here in Smiths Grove. However, by Saturday morning Monica had us hopping the subway and moving through crosswalks like true New Yorkers.
The picture above shows most of the artists that were in our concert, An Appalachian Christmas, at Carnegie Hall. It was a great joy to work with Sounds of Victory, Higher Vision, Tammy Norris, Charlene Helen Berry, Two or More, and Dr. Randall Bane and Roy Hayes from Christian Music Presenters in Nashville. There was a good crowd on hand for the concert and most of the attendees were true New Yorkers. It was fun to watch them light up during banjo, mandolin and fiddle solos and tap their feet during some of the faster songs in the program.
My highlight for the concert was the last line of the last full song we sang. It was from the song Christ Was Born in Bethlehem and we made a slight alteration to the lyric. Greg Lynch from Sounds of Victory sang, "Christ was born in Bethlehmen, Christ was born in Bethlehem to burst the bands of death." As he sang those words tears filled my eyes as I thought about how Christmas is about much more than just a baby in a manger. It is about God living up among us so that He could die for us to pay the price for sin that we owe. God sent the Christ child so that we may have life both now and forever. After walking around all of the department stores and seeing all of the beautiful lights at Rockefeller Center, I was leveled in realizing again that it was because of Christmas that I can know peace with God and find hope in Him. It was a powerful moment.