It’s always inspiring to be in Washington, D.C.!
Today, as we gather for CUE’s second annual Labor Day at the Cathedral, we are reminded of the 50th Anniversary of the “I have a dream” speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., which took place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial just a few blocks from where our staff is lodging. This morning, I walked by St. Matthew’s Cathedral, slowing my pace to a near-stop at the location where three-year-old John-John Kennedy saluted his father’s funeral procession. That tender memory is imprinted in the minds, hearts, and emotions of all who viewed it in 1963 on black and white television.
Lots of things were black and white in 1963. Thank goodness – thank God – for color. Thankfully, there have been men and women like MLK, who had (and have) a dream for peace and who model it with patience, love, courage, and grace.
This is arguably the most powerful city on the planet, and world-changing events take place here every day. Today’s hot topic is Syria and trying to figure out what to do with that circular conundrum. Often times, Washington’s challenges seem to have no good solutions and it becomes a matter of following gut instincts. Naturally, as human beings, we trust some peoples’ instincts more than others, thus … politics.
That’s why it’s always a respite and retreat to gather at National City Christian Church for choral rehearsals and then make our way up Massachusetts Avenue to the National Cathedral for Sunday’s Grand Concert. Here, we gather with 200 or so singers, a full orchestra, four conductors, and an audience from all over the world to celebrate Christian hope, joy, unity, peace.
There’s really no way to describe what these singing Christians experience as we gather to make glorious music together. These days, “awesome” is a description suffering from much over-use, but this really is … awesome! Over the next three days, we will be reminded in a hundred new ways of the words of Jesus, “In the world, you will have tribulation, but I have overcome the world.”
It’s not about politics. It’s not about military prowess or might. It’s not about wealth or position.
It’s about grace so amazing, music so beautiful, text so inspiring, architecture so glorious, and community so comforting. And most of all, it’s about God so loving and compassionate!