LIVING AS APPRENTICES
Have you seen the video making the rounds this holiday season of the Air Force Band flash-mob-performance at the National Air and Space Museum? It begins with one cellist sitting on a chair in the middle of the Milestones of Flight Gallery. A small crowd collects around him and then for the next four minutes band members, instruments, a conductor and his stand, and vocalists began appearing until 120 people are singing and playing glorious music from Bach, ending in a resounding Joy to the World.
The music was spectacular, but what struck me was the glee on the faces of some of the musicians as they took off their coats and joined the band. One violinist in the foreground of the video never stopped grinning. A different variation on that story played among the increasing number of spectators – questioning looks and amazed smiles and then pure joy spread through the crowd. We were all just getting used to the wonder of it when two voices rang out, and suddenly there were with the singers a dozen or more vocalists singing from the balcony.
It didn’t take long for the language of Advent to seep into my mind. Waiting: why was that cellist sitting alone in a huge gallery playing Jesu? Expectation: what would happen next? Surprise: here’s the conductor! Oh, here come the brass! How did that harp get there? Where are those beautiful soprano voices coming from? Fulfillment: The entire uniformed band in rows and a line of vocalists singing Joy to the World. And finally The Kingdom: children, adults, groups of teens, smiling couples, white-haired women all smiling and laughing and pointing and singing along – and me joining them from afar.
It’s Advent! I wish for JOY to flood your world!
- U.S. Air Force Band Surprises Museum Goers With A Holiday Music Flash Mob (huffingtonpost.com)