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Advent Devotional December 18: Written by Charles Lively in 1996

Psalm 46:10

South Main is a special Baptist church. I had come to Houston as an organist here in early December, 1956 when Dr. Westmoreland suggested we have a silent Lord’s Supper in the later afternoon on Christmas Day with no spoken word – just quiet organ music leading our thoughts through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I found myself not only playing a service on Christmas Day, but involved in a service where I would truly worship in a reverential and thought-provoking manner – a highlight of worship for me. 

 A little background – during high school, college, seminary, and beyond I was organist at Baptist, Christian Science, Episcopal, and Lutheran churches. All the Baptist churches had less reverence and appreciation for good sacred music than I had experienced in a strong Baptist upbringing, and when Thad Roberts called about coming to South Main for an interview, I was hesitant but decided to give it a try. I know now that the Lord led me to that decision.

There were early signs that this would be a different Baptist experience, but for me it was a proven fact at the end of that first Christmas Day Lord’s Supper Service three weeks after I had arrived.

South Main was a special church forty years ago and it is now as it leads in historic Baptist ways while much of the denomination goes in a different direction. How very fortunate I was to have been offered the opportunity to serve here!

The Christmas season is one of joy and celebration that God sent His Son to earth to die and be resurrected for all who will believe in Him to have everlasting life. It’s a busy season of shopping, parties, and exchanging gifts. Whether or not you have little ones who have roused you early on Christmas Day, consider closing this bustling day with the calming experience of entering our beautiful sanctuary, all decorated for the season, to spend those moments meditating on His life, death, and resurrection. It will change you!


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