Sunday, December 18, 2016, Jubilee Chorus hosted a Christmas Community Concert at the Bowery Mission in downtown New York. The chorus consisted of 13 members and the sanctuary at Bowery Mission was completely filled with the Bowery staff members, family and friends, and mostly members of the homeless community. The holy presence and grace of God filled the house with great warmth.
Assistant manager, Bex, opened the concert with a warm welcome and the introduction of Jubilee. Following, Jubilee Chorus performed six songs and four Christmas carols, conducted by Nitya Thomas and accompanied by Alexander Bui. In addition, several choir members spoke a passage of testimony and encouragement to the audience based on their personal reflections upon each song. Reflecting on her solo in "We are Singing for the Lord is our Light," returning choir member Muriel shared the short story in which the Lord carried us on His shoulders, leaving not two, but one set of footprints in our life journeys. A new member of this season, Meyre, encouraged the community to look at God alone when we don't find the reason to sing, after the choir performed "Why We Sing." Seasoned member, Jen, also exhorted everyone to celebrate the birthday of Jesus with a childlike heart in the song "Who Would Imagine a King." The manager of chorus shared a short message on Romans 5:8, declaring that God shows His love to us sinners in that, while we were still powerless, Christ died for us. Finally, the choir concluded the evening with a song dedicated to the whole community, "The Lord Bless You and Keep You."
The workers and staff of Bowery Mission showed tremendous gratitude to Jubilee Chorus, as the chorus members thanked the community to share their time with the chorus. Applause and "amen's" resounded throughout the evening. All the glory and praise to God that in His unconditional love, His people can put behind their differences and worship Him together in music. Many faces in the audience exuded bright smiles as God touched them with His presence.
Seasoned member and assistant manager Bex shared her reflection: "The difference between tonight and other performances was the hearts of choir members. Although members are new, they are strong in faith. This time we had many opportunities for the group to share verbally and to be a part. Some members didn't have solos but they shared strong messages. This time we prayed together before and after. The leadership was united in tonight's performance. God's light shone through us. This season we all grew, which is exactly what we want for each other and members. To grow in talent and in friendship."
Bringing the Gospel of Christ to the neighborhood through music has always been a core value of Jubilee Chorus. This season, chorus members received the opportunity to sing for a greater cause than themselves: to share the Good News of Jesus Christ to a marginalized population. Members exhibited compassion toward the less privileged community and allowed the Holy Spirit to lead.
Praise God for His goodness and faithfulness throughout a challenging season for Jubilee Chorus. May the light of Jesus Christ continue to shine as chorus members unite in one heart to serve God through music.