As we find ourselves deeply immersed in the busy season I want everyone to take this challenge. Even if you haven't one kid or grandkid or niece or nephew, I want you to find a Christmas (or Solstice or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa) concert and go to it. Go expecting it to last too long, for the seat to be uncomfortable, and for you to find some measure of irritation in either the political correctness or lack of therein. And most of all, go expecting a moment of transcendence for surely that is where it bound to be found.
Yes, folks, transcendence, right here in River City, or Dubuque, or Merigomish, or Oshawa, Stockton-on-Tees, Dubai, Berlin, or Bethlehem. Wherever it is that you abide get thee to a concert where folks are gathered (especially little folks) to celebrate the return of the light in the northern hemisphere or the first day of summer in the southern one.
Get trapped in a room of people who long for what you long for - a moment of understanding in this great turmoil of modern life. A moment when a little angel looks earnestly into the audience to find his mom beaming back at him because he remembered to say his lines. A moment when a shepherd's uncle's old housecoat hitches up to reveal the shepherd scratching his bottom with a concentration that was completely missing only moments ago when he was supposed to shout out 'Lo, for in the east there shone a star,' but who nonetheless is luminous with a holy and true spirit.
So far this year I've gone to a church where a massed choir from two large high schools gathered with very little rehearsal to do the Lessons and Carol evening. And the spirit was there.Tonight I went to a coffee house at the school where we heard everything from Beethoven to Queen and one of the all time nicest renditions of White Christmas I've ever heard. Best of all was the incredible kindness and enthusiasm all the teens gave each other. On Tuesday we'll make our way to the Shambhala Centre where we will hear the story of the King and Queen of Shambhala, we will meet the four dignitaries - Lion, Tiger, Garuda, and Dragon and millions of candles will be lit. And I missed my dear grandkids concert this year as it happened when I was visiting my dad but I won't miss next year's if I can help it. Because really and truly there is transcendence to be found and I want some. Don't you?