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A beautiful night for a Gracias Christmas Cantata, 2800 gather at Saenger Theater

New Orleans, LA—On Sunday, October 6th, Gracias Christmas Cantata Tour descended on its 8th stop, this time in the southern city of New Orleans, LA. A city in love with jazz, a city where families were torn apart from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This beautiful place is where we performed the Christmas Cantata.

Up until today, the threat of another hurricane loomed over New Orleans. A disaster watch was placed over the entire city and it was all but imminent that the people would have to endure another devastating storm.

The potential hurricane eventually lost power and subsided over the shore. This prompted thousands of people to safely leave their homes and make their way to the theater for Cantata.

At 6:20 PM, a full 40 minutes before show time, a throng of people had gathered in the lobby of the newly renovated Saenger Theater in downtown New Orleans. The line stretched out of the building, wrapped around the block, and continued to wrap another block, each person holding a red Christmas Cantata ticket ready to redeem it.

“Man, we have to go through another door?” “That’s why I told you we had to reserve the front row seats!”

People formed large crowds within the hall, trying to score the best seats for the performance.

Saenger Theater, the most famous and beautiful venue in town, was completely filled. The ceiling had been designed and painted to look like a clear night’s sky and this created the perfect atmosphere for everyone to viscerally experience the birth of the Savior.

Pastor Yeong Kook Park of Good News New York Church preached the Cantata Message using the story of Jacob and Esau in Genesis 27. Pastor preached, “Jacob exudes two images. One is his image that is incapable of receiving his father’s blessing, and another is his flawless image, completely worthy of blessing, created by his mother Rebekah. Although we are dirty filthy sinners, we have no choice but to receive the blessings of God when we stand in front of Him with a cleansed, sanctified, and justified image made possible by Jesus Christ.”

“Among tonight’s performances, ‘Hallelujah’ was great, but I got truly emotional listening to ‘God Bless America.’ It brought tears to my eyes. And the message was really good. I’m a Christian myself, but the words that said I have two images in front of God, that of a sinner and that of someone justified…that really stuck with me.”

-Sandy Phillips

“Everything was beautiful. The acting and music of the Choir, the stages, the costumes, it was such a good time. I ask this: PLEASE come back to New Orleans. Please come back to us next year.”

-Marie D’Antoni Gross

When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans eight years ago, this was known as a place of pleasure, but the Gospel was weak. As this beautiful night comes to an end and the Gospel has been planted again, nothing can hold God back, not even hurricanes. We now press forward to Houston, TX.

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