San Antonio, TX—On October 8th, San Antonio hosted the Gracias Christmas Cantata Tour, on its 10th stop across America, which began on September 27th.
Gracias Choir made its very first appearance at the Scottish Rite Theater Auditorium, a famous performance venue known around the San Antonio region for its history and Mexican architectural influences.
At 5 PM, many families were seen walking towards the front door a full 2 hours before the performance. One mother said, “I found out about this Cantata from a ticket someone left at my workplace. I saw from the brochure that this was going to be Christmas-themed and would feature the story of Christ’s birth. And I’m Christian so I decided to bring the whole family. I’ve never seen such a performance like this happen at such a good theater, but it turns out it’s such a great event that teaches the true meaning of Christmas, and it’s free! I figured this would be so much more meaningful than a family dinner, so we skipped it and came here instead and now we’re waiting.”
This proved to be a Cantata that anyone could experience and enjoy. It felt like Christmas Cantata had become a precious gift from Jesus to the citizens of San Antonio. The house opened at 6:30 PM with a flood of people bursting into the auditorium.
It was 7:20 PM when the first curtain went up on the first stage, and even though the first level, and second and third balconies were completely filled, numerous people were still trying to make their way in. Many were still stuck in the lobby, and it was indeed a good problem to have, if not unfortunate, that not everyone got to see it live. Countless attendees left their contact information, urging staff to let them know when the Cantata would be in town next. By the time the show was in full swing, 2300 people had taken their seats and were enjoying an evening glorifying God for the birth of Christ.
After the piece “Oh Holy Night” was over, the most passionate rounds of applause this Cantata Tour was heard through Scottish Rite Theatre’s hall. The audience was also able to feel the warmness of Christmas love through Anna’s moving story in Act 2.
People clapped along as Gracias Choir performed a sped-up version of “Jingle Bells,” and by the end, each and every stage actor received a thunderous amount of applause. It was truly a performance that was molded by both the Choir and the audience.
Pastor Yeong Kook Park, senior pastor of Good News New York Church, preached the Gospel to the crowd, saying, “We have two images: our original image full of sin and our image of cleanness, holiness, and justification through the blood of Jesus. Even though we have sin when we stand in front of God, we must stand in front of God with our second image that was formed by Jesus, the image that believes in the Word of God.”
Those listening were able to sing along to three key songs during the Cantata: “Hallelujah”, “Silent Night”, and the prayer of the people “God bless America.”
Even though the performance was over, the audience remained, giving a standing ovation and answering a fiery “Yes!” to the emcee who asked them if Gracias Choir should come back next year. “Everything about the Choir was perfect. God Bless America was especially poignant for me. I’m thankful I gained hope and faith that Jesus my Savior would now lead my life.”
“I was invited by the pastor of my church so I brought my family tonight. I liked the story of Anna in Act 2 the best. More than anything else, I saw my image in Anna. And the pastor’s message that I am no longer my former image, but a new image that was made possible by Jesus Christ, that really remains in my heart. If the Cantata comes back here, I’ll be first in line to help promote it. Thank you so much for coming to San Antonio!”
People congregated in the lobby after the performance, purchasing sermon books and music, finding out more about Good News San Antonio Church, and chatting with each other about how moving the Cantata was for them. God has given San Antonio the most precious gift ever given: the Gospel. And with it, they have newfound hope in their hearts. The last stop in this Gracias Christmas Cantata Texas THREE-step awaits: Dallas.