Santa Welcomes You to Church

This morning, I went to the Del City church of Christ in Del City, Oklahoma. It is the Sunday before Christmas, and you could really tell that it was. There were two men standing at the front of the church building to welcome everyone in. One had a long white beard and a Santa’s hat and was giving out candy.

Santa was there greeting everyone at the front door. He said he usually wore red coveralls.
Santa had candy to give out, and he had listened to everyone’s comments, so the candy was sugar free and gluten free.
There were lots of Christmas decorations as I went down the hallway.

As I went down the hallway, there were lots of Christmas decorations. When I came toward the end of the hallway, there was a coffee shop full of people enjoying each other’s company and a cup of coffee on the left side, and on the right side, people were going in for worship services. The had canceled the usual Bible classes because Christmas is so close. I went into the place where they were to have worship.

They were all in their coffee shop visiting and enjoying being together.
I went on into the auditorium and looked for a seat. The auditorium was so big I couldn’t get a picture of the whole thing at once. There were several flags on the walls from several countries where they had missionaries.
There were Christmas decorations on stage, and to the left, there was a place where they had a display because they were collecting canned goods for their pantry to give away to the poor.

A man got up and asked everyone to sit down and called them to order by leading a song. I looked, and they seemed to have both a song leader and a praise team. Except for the first song, the song leader sat on the pew with everyone else, and the praise team sat on the pews with everyone else too. Including the leader, there were five men and three women sitting at the front of the audience with microphones. They same a mixture of regular hymns and Christmas carols.

Everything this guy did was in English and Spanish both, and he didn’t miss a beat in either language.

A young man got up to do the announcements, read a scripture, and lead them in prayer. He was bilingual, and very good in both English and Spanish. You couldn’t hear a foreign accent at all in either language. He did the announcements in English, then in Spanish. He prayed in English, and then in Spanish. He also read a scripture in English, and then in Spanish. He was extremely happy and welcoming to everyone! He did a great job! After that, they had a short video about gifts, and the greatest gift of all being Jesus.

The preacher talked about the birth of Jesus and about the parable, about gifts, and “the Pearl of Great Price.” The story said a man found a pearl in a field and went out and bought the filed so he could have the pearl. In this picture, the preacher called the kids up to the front who had birthdays in November and December. He had a plastic container full of Styrofoam he was calling “snow.” He told the kids they were going to have to dig for their treasures (birthday presents) like the man in the story. The kids had fun digging through the Styrofoam and each found a gift card from Target.

After he sat down, we sang some more, and then the preacher got up to preach. Among the English songs, they sang one song also in Spanish, “Noche de Paz.” It is Christmas, so of course, he talked about the Christmas story. He read a scripture out of Matthew and told everyone that it was Luke–I talked to him about it afterward, and he said he realized he had made a mistake, but the power point was wrong, and he couldn’t change it. We had communion, but I didn’t take any pictures at that time.

Marina took me around in the coffee shop they have and introduced me to several Spanish speaking members. They were thrilled to have a Spanish speaker who could teach Bible(me)!!

After worship services, everyone was busy visiting again. I ran into Marina, a Mexican lady I had met Wednesday evening. She told me about Christmas in Mexico, and then she took me into the coffee shop and began introducing me to all the people there who spoke Spanish. They were all very happy to meet me. One guy in particular Nephtali, was happy because he was planning on continuing attending there at the Del City church, but going to help another church too that was going to begin a Mexican ministry. He asked me if I would go with him to help the other church too, and I consented. When the Mexican minister, Ardiel, heard, he said, “But you were going to teach a Spanish ladies Bible class on Friday mornings for us.” I told him I was still going to do it, and that I was going to help where ever I could, and his reply was, “We are really going to put you to work because there is lots to do!” They let me know that they really needed people who could teach Bible classes and speak Spanish, and that I should just stay around because I would have lots to do. After that, I was getting hungry because I hadn’t eaten a very big lunch, so excused myself to go home and eat telling them all I would talk to them later. One of the hugged me. The Mexicans in this church have fully reached out to me and accepted me.

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