What I loved even more, though, was looking down into the audience and seeing my entire family in attendance. The scenery was perfect: my husband (who for once was NOT on the stand, but sitting with a grandchild on each knee), my son and daughter-in-law and their beautiful family (dressed in Christmas outfits to die for!), my daughter and her new husband, and my youngest son (who is home from the U of A to spend some time with us.) The other son was seated right next to me, reading scripture and quotes from President Hinckley like a pro and dressed in a red Christmas sweater he picked out for himself. (An endearing thing is that my husband had...all on his own...purchased antique Christmas tree pins for all the girls in the family and Christmas ties for the guys.)
Needless to say, my heart was full.
Here is the final poem that closed the program:
O Come Let Us Adore
c1997 by Susan Noyes Anderson
With joy and hope, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
We speak of His example, of His love and sacrifice.
Our voices raise in carols praising Him, each sacred strain
a witness that the Lord did come and sank beneath our pain
to take our sins upon Himself, a perfect gift of love,
from our own Elder Brother, He who waits for us above.
And it was long before this life that we first knew His name.
He was the father's firstborn son...a bright, eternal fame.
Like unto God, He was, a Being of light and power and grace,
and yet so humble that He chose to take our lowly place
and come to earth, a baby born to suffer, bleed and die
in our behalf. When Father asked, He answered, "Here am I."
"Send me," He said. "Thy will be done." "The glory will be Thine."
He loved us as He loved Himself, with love so pure...divine...
that our hearts swelled within us, and every voice was raised
in shouts of jubilation and choruses of praise.
For Father's plan required a Savior, free of any sin,
to pay the price and justify our souls to enter in.
And Jesus Christ agreed, offered Himself, made us His own...
inviting all to take His name and worship at His throne.
Jehovah, the Creator, He who did the Father's will,
who made this earth and calmed the sea, who whispers, "Peace, be still"...
The Son of Man, the Lamb of God, Messiah, Bread of Life...
The Good Shepherd, who spilled His blood to save us from the knife.
For we are sheep all gone astray, but He would take us in
and welcome us into His fold to ever dwell within.
He lived. He lives. He came to earth: The Way, The Truth, The Light.
The course of all eternity was changed that sacred night.
A babe was born in Bethlehem, a star rose in the sky,
while hosts of angels sang; and we sang with them, you and I.
We sang as we had sung before, glad tidings of great worth.
We sang as we will sing again when He returns to earth.
And we will hear the trump, the trump of God, and Michael's shout,
proclaiming Jesus Christ to all, and those who would not doubt
will be caught up to meet Him, as in glory He appears,
the first fruits of His labor, sanctified in blood and tears.
And justified by faith and works to live with Him once more.
Oh come, let us adore Him. Oh come, let us adore!
After that, the choir sang Gesu Bambino. I only wish you all could have been there to hear it.