Atlanta, GA—This is how Pastor Ock Soo Park expressed the 2013 Gracias Christmas Cantata in Atlanta in front of a capacity crowd of 1120 on Monday evening, October 1st.
Christmas Cantata brought the warmth and atmosphere of the Charlotte performance to the Ferst Center for the Arts, located on the main campus of Georgia Tech. Ferst Center is a venue that holds a strong historical tradition and is treasured by many Georgians. There auditorium was packed way before the curtain went up and many people unfortunately had to be turned away. People from the Good News Atlanta Church, as well as many of the volunteers, happily gave up their seats to the growing crowd that continued to pour in and scour for open spots. The managerial staff was in a state of emergency from having to account for every last seat in the house to make sure the least number of people were left out.
It was moving to see people from all over the area, including several VIPs such as the Mayor of Norcross, GA, the Peru general consul, and the head of the fire department in Atlanta, fill the Ferst Center with eagerness and anticipation.
The performance proved equally touching. Many Gracias Choir members were seen with tears of joy during and in between stages.
Act 1: The birth of Jesus
Jesus Christ was born in the lowliest of places just so He could be our Savior. Like the Word states, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Act 2: Hearts that flow
The character of Anna, portrayed by Alice Choi, considered nothing else but herself. She eventually realized how precious her parents were after experiencing the sadness of literally having nowhere to go. The way Anna and her father discovered each other’s true hearts, in turn, warmed the hearts of the audience.
Act 3: The glory of God
The Atlanta Cantata audience glorified the God that sent His only begotten son for our sins as they listened to Handel’s Oratorio “Hallelujah.” Even Director Eunsook Park was misty-eyed as she turned to greet the audience after the last note.
The message from Pastor Ock Soo Park
“We are made righteous because Jesus bore all of our sins on the cross. If you receive this heart of God, our hearts will become one with Him and He will begin His work in us.”
Each aspect of this Gracias Christmas Cantata emanated the singular message of the Gospel. The audience was visibly immersed in the happiness that sprang from a newfound heart.
“A friend of mine is volunteering here tonight so I came to check the Cantata out. The performances were amazing and it really stirred something up in me. It was the kind of heart-moving experience that you just can’t get from the radio, the Internet, or through games. And the message was about God wanting us to follow Him and about Him wanting to take care of us. The important thing I took away was that I am righteous when I follow Jesus. I want to follow Him.”
– Jasmine Shaw, Augustus, GA
“I was walking through campus one day and I saw a volunteer promoting the Christmas Cantata. I thought, “Wow this is unique, there’s nothing like this around here!” So, I snatched up a bunch of tickets on the spot and I brought 8 of my friends with me tonight. The event was beautiful. I don’t think I’ll soon forget the shivers I got listening to ‘Hallelujah.’ Thank you for presenting an unsurpassable performance.”
– Laura L. Knight, PhD
Professor, Georgia Tech
My favorite part was the birth of Jesus in Act 1. The instrument playing and vocals of this Choir emerging from such pain…it was the first time in my life hearing music that came straight from the soul. I am so happy that this campus hosted such a meaningful performance. I deeply thank Gracias Choir for coming to Georgia Tech.
Mayor of Norcross, GA
What was it that made tonight the best Cantata performance so far in 2013? The audience, the VIPs in attendance, and God, who overflowed this event with His grace. He undoubtedly bestowed Atlanta with the greatest gift of them all: the Gospel.
Gracias Choir continues its tour of America, proclaiming God’s eternal promise along the way. Up next: Jacksonville, FL.