This week we officially end the Christmas season (you can take down your decorations) and celebrate the Feast of Epiphany, the coming of the three kings from distant lands to give honor and gifts to Jesus Christ.
I want to take this opportunity to remember our music director and organist for more than the past 25 years, Mr. Tom Taylor, who died Christmas morning, where for the past decades he had been, instead, up in the choir loft leading us in music and our singing of praise to God.
Just in the short three and a half years that I have been here so far, up until the last month, there wasn’t a Sunday, a wedding, or a funeral that Mr. Taylor wasn’t playing at. But it wasn’t just the playing of the organ or the piano at the different services that mattered, it was also in meeting with the couples and planning for their wedding, or the families and planning a funeral that was important. Couples planning their wedding are looking forward to the day and some would just like music that sounded nice or that they were used to for their weddings, but he was able to show them the different options they may have, why you might choose one piece over another, and trying to give them an appreciation of how their wedding is meant to be a great celebration of their love for one another, a religious celebration that gives thanks to God and asks for His blessing upon them.
In meeting families and planning funerals you don’t have the months to schedule and plan you do for a wedding but rather were meeting only a couple of days after the persons death. Mr. Taylor took the time to listen and talk with the families, to plan the music but also help them to put together a program for the service as they remembered their loved one, to help them in this most difficult
We were fortunate to have the many years of true ministry that Mr. Taylor managed to offer us here at St. Joe’s. But it wasn’t just his musical gifts that helped us to come together and participate in our worship, it was all the other care he also gave to help us celebrate life, love, and Christ.
As we celebrate the Feast of Epiphany may we realize all the gifts we have to give to offer God and one another.