My present to my family this year is the gift of presence. While I’m away, I’ve scheduled some posts for your reading enjoyment. I hope all of you have a blessed Christmas. Be in the moment. Look people in the eyes. Be still. Listen and enjoy each other. Life is short. LIVE the moment.
The Neurotic Messiah, copyright December 2000.
Oh no! What have I done? I cannot read a single note. Not one. This score is much more complicated Than I ever anticipated.
I haven’t sung in a choir for twenty year. And so began my chorus of fears.
The starts, the stops, the highs, the lows The beats, the counts, the arpeggios. The conductors who speak in some foreign tongue Is it Latin, or Italian? I know not which one.
The M’s and P’s, and F’s and M’s. Oh, these aren’t your typical church service hymns. Am I an “S” or not an “S” I do not know and now they say my costume I need to sew.
Light the fire but don’t take it out?! Would someone please tell me what that was about?
Now I’m told to sing like Ethel Merman and that we aren’t singing, but giving a sermon.
Oh how I’m beginning to rue the day when Sue Paulison said “Come on let’s play. You don’t need to audition, just show up and sing. Being a part of “The Messiah” is a wonderful thing.”
I’m now thinking my impulse to do this was rash. This may be a check I’ve written that my body can’t cash.
This is not good, not good at all, but then again, does pride not come before the fall?
I drove straight home and on my bed I sat telling my husband, I’m not going back! And that is that!
Then standing in the hallway whom did I see but my 9-year-old son list-ening to me. “I thought you once said don’t ever quit. So please tell me now, why are you doing it?”
I searched through my brain to frantically look for some wise answer to get me off the hook. Failing that I tried for the truth Hoping somehow he’d understand, even in his youth.
“That may be true.” I answer, “But don’t you see? There’s too much to learn and it’s too hard for me. Besides, I really can’t sing, not like the rest.” And he said “That’s okay Mom; just do your best. God won’t mind, just wait and see. Isn’t that what you’re always telling me?”
And so I sat with a guilty heart wondering when my son got so smart. And wondering why he now would choose to remember my words and those words use.
Then henceforth came my next blessing I caught a cold while I was dressing. I coughed and sneezed and wheezed and gasped. My voice, once loud, now barely rasped.
I cannot sing and cough no sir, they have to let me drop now, I’m sure. No guilt, no blame, It’s not my fault. This cruel dance can finally come to a halt.
But Leon’s good. He doesn’t miss a trick. You’d better get well and get well quick. I’ll let you sing you’ll do just fine, people catch colds all the time. And so went my last excuse. Fighting God on this one seemed no use.
My costume’s all sewn by my friend Cyndi, with care, At least now I will have something to wear.
I thought a “piano” is what you played and not what you sang and this cold still makes me sound like a cat in the rain. I’m not an “S” and this much I know that’s to keep us from hissing during the show.
The Marys and Josephs have been picked out with care now if only they could decide when they’ll be there.
The last practice has come we should know what to do. Stand up straight, bend your knees, and that includes you. The Altos still outnumber the rest by a score, next year could you please try soprano some more.
The orchestra is with us, it’s coming together. Somehow I doubt we could get any better.
Tell us Pastor Carter how does it sound now that we’ve done this last go around?
“It needs to be crisp, we’ve lost that somehow. Remember, you are praising God, so let’s pull it together now. Sopranos are too strong, bring it down just a bit. Bass’s your not emphasizing the lines that you hit. Tenors and Altos your entrances are late, but other than that I think it sounds great.”
Our differences we have quietly tucked away, as all Tulsa Lutheran churches sing in har-mony this day. Clear and true our music does ring as we all praise and worship our new-born King.
All fears and joking are now put aside. This is a worship service and our joy we can’t hide.
The true story of Christmas can only be told through the lives of the ones who dare to Behold.
“Behold! I bring you tidings of great joy which shall be to all
people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior which is
Christ the Lord.”
We will be celebrating our 90th year this December 4, 2010. Won’t you please join us at First Lutheran Church on 13th and Utica for this wonderful presentation of the Christmas Story.