Getting into the Season

Posted on December 5, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

Thanksgiving is over so, in contrast to many commercial early-promoters, we are ready  to acknowledge that Christmas is coming. At this time every year I vow to better organize and label our Christmas decorations next time, but by New Year’s we are ready to get them out of sight and into the attic. Now we face the challenge of sorting through a mountain of boxes and bags, untangling lights and porch swag and unpacking all the nativity sets from around the world. The tree can wait a couple of weeks, but for the sake of our reputation in the neighborhood, outside decorations have to get in place (that is what it is all about, isn’t it?).

It has been a busy week getting into the spirit of the season. We attended the performance of the perennial national champion Clinton High Show Choir, Attache, on Wednesday night. Thursday night was a production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” staged by the MC Tribal Players, followed by the first home basketball game. On Friday we were hosted for dinner by MC President Lee Royce and his wife, Rhoda, prior to attending the Festival of Lights presentation by the Concert Choir in the pre-Civil War Provine Hall chapel.

I was privileged to speak for the Mississippi College honors banquet recognizing the students selected for Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges. Reflecting on significant influences during my own college years almost 50 years ago, I challenged the students to determine direction, develop personal discipline, formulate life values and capture a vision for the future as keys to success.

It was a joy to have my twin sister, Jean for a post-Thanksgiving visit. She lives in Daphne, Alabama, and we don’t get together as often as we should. One of the delights in having her, as an accomplished pianist, to visit is her playing our baby grand piano which otherwise sits silent in the corner of our living room.

Last week we worshipped at New Horizon Church International, a black mega-church in Jackson. Led by Bishop Ronnie Crudup, the church is involved in an amazing array of mission projects from inner city outreach and rehabilitation to church planting overseas. It was a two and a half hour service–the interaction of the congregation with the sermon was almost as lively as music!

This Sunday, I had the privilege of participating in a Global Impact Celebration at Longview Point Baptist Church in Hernando. This relatively new church of about 600 is involved in multiple mission partnerships around the world and will give $125,000 to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering–an example many churches that are much larger should follow. We are back on the road to spend the week to South Carolina for planning with the Zwemer confer and conferring with CIU staff. Next Sunday we will be at Parkway Baptist Church in Auburn, Alabama and then look forward to settling in for the holidays.

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