I was supposed to do something tomorrow, June 24th 2020, that I’ve never done before. I like doing new things and I think that I would have liked doing this.
I was asked, back before COVID controlled the world, back when we thought that summer would find us doing our usual things, to be the Master of Ceremonies at an Amazing Worthington City Band concert at historic Chautauqua Park on the banks of Lake Okabena here in Worthington, Minnesota.
Kinda makes me think of Harold Hill and The Music Man, though actually I wouldn’t have been directing – heaven help the band – I’d just be introducing the songs, talking a little, giving the band time to pull up their music for the next song.
Sadly, all of the band concerts have been cancelled for June, but happily the ones scheduled for July are still on! Summer band concerts have been a big part of our lives, given that two of our kids have played in the band for several years now and we’ve attended concerts since we moved to Worthington in 1997. (It helped that we lived across the street from the park for 8 years!)
(I don’t know why this video looks sideways, but it will play just fine!)
I truly have missed the concerts these past few weeks. Something in the air one evening last week – a scent or a sound, I’m not sure which – made me suddenly think of the band and I felt a little bit sad and a little bit nostalgic and a little bit cross with this COVID world, all at once.
Which is a lot of emotions to handle in 5 seconds!
Another aspect of the weekly (for June and July) concerts is that it’s a great time to hang out with friends, see people you don’t see very often, and meet new people – or at least identify them from afar.
Example: “Oh, the MC is so-and-so tonight. I’ve never realized that’s who that is!”
Me: “Oh, I see that the intermission entertainment is Rolly Polly and his Dancing Dogs! I hope the dogs don’t leap into the audience and bite anyone this time like that did that other time.”
Friend: “Oh, I kinda hope they do. That was entertaining!”
(Just kidding. That never happened. But the microphone did misbehave badly once or twice, causing one or two headaches for the friendly neighborhood sound guy.)
One particularly cool thing about the band is that it is 127 years old! It began in 1893 and the bandshell itself, built from 1941-1942, is on the National Register of Historic Places. To top off the coolness, Chautauqua Park is so named because the Reverend Billy Sunday, professional baseball player of the 1880’s turned itinerant evangelist, preached there in his heyday, a fact which made this seminary graduate smile as suddenly her Church History class actually intersected with her real life.
I like it when that happens. When the things I learned in Seminary or in Sunday School or from sermons interconnect with reality. When the Bible applies to everyday life.
Which, of course, it does all the time. I just don’t always realize it.
That’s kind of my Disheveled Theologian mantra, actually. Or, rather, my prayer. That by telling my stories of everyday life, and showing how God and His Word applies in each of those situations, people will see God more in their own lives. In other words, I pray that when I open my eyes to see God in my life, you too, will open your eyes to see Him in yours.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3 NIV
P.S.: In light of the fact that I’m pining away for summer band concerts, I dug up a couple videos to entertain you! The first one (above) is a band classic, a patriotic tune we can all enjoy. The second (below) is a fun one that clearly entertained the audience!
Again, why this looks sideways I don’t know. I am no expert. I’m certain that someone can tell me rather easily, but I don’t know exactly who that someone is. I’m just glad that it will play correctly for you! 🙂