One Voice, One Glorious Sound
Earlier this month, Tony and I, along with members of our family, went to the 12th annual choral celebration, “The Sacred Sounds of Christmas,” featuring Seattle Pacific University’s concert choir, wind symphony, symphony orchestra, and other fine musicians and readers. What a way to begin the Advent season!
The Benaroya Hall, in downtown Seattle, is a 2500 seat performance venue and it was filled to capacity. As we were seated, my eyes were immediately drawn to the simple but elegant decorations setting the atmosphere for this beautiful event. There were several Christmas trees with white, sparkling lights, and a huge wreath of greens with their lights. It was dramatic in its simplicity. The atmosphere of the season was filling the air.
As the lights went down, the members of the orchestra took their seats. Then the conductor walked on stage, taking his center stage position. Every orchestra member’s eye was focused on him in readiness for his first signal. There was a pause. He then lifted his baton, and pointed towards the wind instruments. With the first stroke of the conductor, every wind instrument played a single note simultaneously. They were obviously tuning their instruments so that the sound they would make for the glorious musical event of the evening would be beautifully coordinated and in tune with each other.
Next, the conductor repeated the same exercise with the stringed section. Again, as he raised his baton, the bows were lifted in place for the stringed instruments. As he signaled this section of the orchestra, the same single sound came forth. It wasn’t a random sound, it wasn’t a screeching sound, and there were no sounds that were off key. It was the same sound. Even this tuning exercise was beautiful.
As the orchestra finished the tuning exercise all the instruments became quiet. Once again, the conductor lifted the baton and as the orchestra began to play, the concert choir entered from the back of the auditorium, singing, “O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel.” The song goes on to say, “O come Desire of nations, bind in one the hearts of all mankind: Bid Thou our sad divisions cease, And be Thyself our King of Peace.”
Tears filled my eyes as I saw a glorious prophetic picture in my mind’s eye. I could see our conductor, the Holy Spirit, lifting His baton as it were, in our direction. Our eyes were upon Him as we waited in readiness. His purpose was to bring forth a single sound, so attuned that there’s not one instrument off key, but all beautifully blended together to make a glorious sound. Then, the sound of God’s people will sing out in unison, ”O come, O come, Desire of the nations and be Thyself our King of Peace.”
Whether the world knows it or not, that is the cry that must be heard in the nations of the world. The world must see the King of Peace arising in the earth…and the cry will arise in us first, to create the ultimate desire for Him to come.
May we be submitted to the tuning of the Holy Spirit in every way as we approach 2012.