As we make final preparations for our Advent dress rehearsal (I am writing this to the accompaniment of Greg Davidson tuning the sanctuary piano) and organize music and shepherd the singers into place, encouraging their finest choral sounds, festooning the space with organza and candle, I am reminded of tensions in the air from special events past.
It seemed like such a good idea when the creative seed was planted … what if we — and we could also — and then before you know it you have signed on for a project that will consume hours of your precious time, draw heavily on your creative resources and exhaust many of the favours you have to call in.
“Why do we do this to ourselves?” a colleague once remarked to me right at that moment of … what is it, despair — not really — panic — maybe — uncertainty that it all wont work out — it usually does … that moment of, well … what’s it all for!?
The concert or event — what ever it was — went ahead. The songs were sung, the applause, the thank yous, and then the magic that was created in the performance bubbled over into the space where the community gathered.
They were laughing, smiling, greeting, sharing, eating squares, drinking punch, catching up, congratulating, hugging, hosting, being hosted, in a way that faith communities do particularly well.
This is why you do this, I was able to say to my colleague. Look at the opportunity you have created for this community to be community. This doesn’t happen after a Stuart McLean Christmas concert where everyone applauds and goes their separate ways and the Vinyl Cafe crew gets on the tour bus and does it all again two days later in another theatre in another town. The “virtual community” of radio or cyberspace is not a replacement for a date square made by your neighbour, served by a friend in an experience shared with a new soul you are just about to meet.
This season, as busy as I know you are, take in more than one musical or social event sponsored by the faith communities in your neighbourhood! It will be worth your effort too.