JUST before the New Year, choir members of the Tangub Missionary Baptist Church performed its annual Christmas cantata, a musical concert celebrating the birth of Christ, at the church in Barangay Tangub, Bacolod City.
The cantata’s theme, “One King: A Christmas Musical,” was created by Robert Sterling, Lowell Alexander, and Deborah Craig-Claar.
Bon Karis Etabag conducted the performance while Grace Etabag served as music director.
Accompanied by the instrumental tracks, the choir, composed of 60 tenors and sopranos, sang beautifully - with melodies that linger in the memory of the audience. Their performance also featured a narration.
Among the hymns that highlighted the cantata were “Born to Reign,” “The Story of Love,” “A Manger is His Throne,” “Starlight Lullaby,” “Glory to the King,” “One King,” “Two Kingdoms,” “What Kind of King,” and “I Bow Before You.”
In between the performance, Pastor Pete Etabag delivered a sermon to remind everybody of the real meaning of the celebration.
He said he is convinced that Christ was born in the last weeks of December or first week of January, as he challenged everyone to study Luke 1 in the bible.
He said the chapter is the key to understanding not only when the Christ was born but also the season he was born.
He also cited Satan’s ploy to counterfeit God’s message. “If Jesus was born in August, then [the coming of] Santa Claus should also be in August...Satan likes to divert our attention on the real reason for the celebration.”
He stressed that the most important thing in Christmas is the Lord Jesus. “There was a promise that if we accept and receive Him...I pray that most of us will make that decision [to accept Him as our personal savior]. If not, the story of Christmas will have no meaning in your life.”
Meanwhile, the church's cantata was supposed to be on December 23 but was moved to Sunday, December 30, due to the blackout.
“When we finally had our Christmas cantata last Sunday, we had another glitch when the minus-one just stopped in the middle of our song. We had been rehearsing countless times using the same music player and music files, but we never had any problems with it,” said Bon Etabag, the conductor.
Nevertheless, he said that he is thankful to the members of the choir “who gave their best to pull-off another successful cantata.”
“We may not be perfect, but we are singing not to please anyone but to bless the hearts of the audience and most importantly, glorify our God through the ministry of music,” he added.
“The hardwork of our choir members for the last two months paid off when they showed professionalism and mastery when the minus-one stopped,” he said.
He hoped that everyone who witnessed the cantata that night “came home blessed, and reminded of the reason why we celebrate Christmas.” (MPE)