Blurts, squeaks, honks, and more overwhelmed melodies as harmonies were left to the imagination of an audience trying to hear through a fog of instrumental war. For the determined, though, hints of Christmas carols could be heard, but to call the music good would be a struggle. The audience, however, was determined. This junior-high cafeteria was filled with parents and teachers of our kids, and love gives a determination to hear in a different way.
The sounds were painful, but the music reflected the lives these kids know. These were inner-city kids, where evil an be fierce. Recently, a single mother of four died. The school scrambled to raise money for the funeral – $9,000 – which kids raised, and now a small band of people are trying to build a foundation beneath kids at risk. This may sound extraordinary to some, but for those who work in tough neighborhoods this is life every day.
The music, therefore, was the kids – a struggle to become better. I could judge, or I could see, then hear. When that miracle happened the discord rearranged. This was not an awful band, it was a group of kids trying to become better. Their instruments were not first class, the time to practice not there, private lessons a luxury basically like all things private – yet in spite of odds, they fought. Everyone in the room was determined to endure because it’s what love does, and when we know that, all music is beautiful.
All the more fitting to be Christmas concert. For Christians, Christmas is the celebration that God has a far better plan. Our lives are a wreck, the world we have a shattered reflection of what could be. In Jesus, though, we receive a glimpse of an unbroken Kingdom, and with it an invitation to believe.
My time listening to the school band reminded me of a Jesus phrase. Jesus often said, ‘whoever has ears to hear, let them hear’ – Mark 4:9
The phrase is strange, but it describes the change He makes in us. We can think the world lost and help only ourselves, or we can see and hear a different way and in Him discover what is possible.
To me, Christmas is the proof that God’s love endures and because of Him the melodies of heaven will triumph over the hell we hear.
(thank you for reading, if you found Jesus in this please share & donate to a cause that makes a difference)