Here’s a truism I’ll never tire of repeating: A great Sunday is always the most effective preparation for Monday. Spending the day with my community of faith is hands down the best possible way to start the week.
Mother’s Day started out with beautiful flowers from Andrew and Naomi. Our children may be miles apart, in Connecticut and Italy, but they did a great job of collaborating and Rebekah was more than delighted.
By the time we added the arrangement I gave Rebekah and then the bouquet we bought for my mum, our house was completely brightened with fresh-cut flowers.
MUCIC & PRAISE: Sunday morning at church, during the prelude, I invited the Praise Band to join me in a free-form jam around “Just a Closer Walk With Thee.” All I did was lay down a simple progression of chords, and then the brass-section got going like they were a parade coming down Bourbon Street in New Orleans! So I just stood there and let the music wash over me and, consequently, I was pretty much full to overflowing with the Spirit before church officially began.
Later, that sense of musical connection found another expression when Rebekah and I joined some of our friends for an outdoor concert at Tampa’s River Tower Park.
singing the National Anthem
We picnicked on the grass and then enjoyed an exhilarating Pops presentation by the amazingly excellent Florida Orchestra.
Again, the sound literally washed over us. Live music is great; live music in a fine concert hall is marvelous; live music in church is uplifting; but there’s something magical, something enchanted, something extra-special about a full orchestra in the open air playing a free concert for a couple of thousand enthusiastic fans.
Chuck, Rebekah, Peggy, David, Karin
The program comprised a wonderfully eclectic range of work. Opera fromCarmen; stage from The Sound of Music; film score from Indiana Jones, andPirates of the Caribbean; Moon Riverby Mancini, a brilliant selection from Stravinsky, and the crowning finale of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.
ENCHANTED EVENING: It was, in every sense, an enchanted evening. By the second half of the concert the sun had gone down and a pleasant breeze carried the glorious music well beyond the park.
The idea of putting a world-class orchestra in a park, and letting absolutely anyone come and listen, without paying a penny, reminded me in a way of how we are called to present the Gospel of Love in a world that is largely indifferent to faith.
We are called to be – literally – an illumination. “It is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)
This is an invitation to shine, to let the light of the knowledge of the glory of God wash over this world as the music of a great orchestra washed over the city last night - DEREK