This year’s program was a departure from our more traditional selection. Joining with our 100+ singing group was a Big Band Jazz orchestra. Together with a talented announcer, commercials and special spots, we replicated a 1940’s radio show.
Audience and performers alike loved it.
It is our tradition at the end of our Christmas concerts that the members of the chorale go down into the aisles of the audience to sing our closing number, “Peace, Peace”. It is a moving experience for both singers and people in the audience.
This year, a friend of mine who came for the first time to one of our concerts told me afterwards that when we sang “Peace Peace” in the aisles surrounding them on all sides, it was like having an “invisible blanket of peace wrapped around them.”
Wow – what a tribute to the power of song and the words that were sung. It is always a moving experience because the words hold within them the longing we all hold.
“Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7 (New Oxford Annotated Bible).
Who can totally describe or understand it. It is a tranquility of heart and soul that calms our fears and removes anxiety; it reflects freedom from conflicts and disagreements and hostilities and removes the desire for violence. It is a personal experience – yet one we can share.
What if, we could give away more of this “invisible blanket of peace” during our everyday activities rather than just a few minutes at the end of a concert? And what would it take to create this same comforting “blanket” that is offered from one heart to another?
I have experienced this “peace that passes all understanding” many times from an awesome God who is always there and surrounds us with His incredible love. And I believe we can share that same peace with others we come in contact with.
Perhaps when we are sensitive to offering a kind word and extending a hand up we can let others know that they are not alone and that they can make it regardless of the losses and challenges they are facing.
We can spend more minutes wrapping our arms around our children and telling them how much we love them even when we don’t approve of their behavior. We can take that extra moment and listen to a friend who is struggling. We can sacrifice some of our time to work with the unfortunate or simply call on a friend who is recovering in the hospital or is spending their last days in a nursing home. We can share a hug as well as words of encouragement and hope.
And in the process, I believe we will not only be incredibly blessed but we will experience peace and a quiet joy of thanksgiving. For peace, hope and love require actions – little actions by each of us in our daily interactions with those around us.
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