Yesterday, when buying my ticket for a tour of Carnegie Hall, I saw four $176 tickets for tonight’s performance. The Philadelphia Orchestra was honoring Leonard Bernstein, accompanied by a professional choir.
“Can you toss in one of those tickets with my tour?” I asked the ticketmaster.
“Not unless you toss me $176,” he said.
“Too rich for my blood,” I said.
“Well, we have a couple seats left in the balcony,” he said. “I can sell you a ticket for $10.”
And that’s how I found myself at Carnegie Hall twice in one day: at 2 pm for the behind-the-scenes tour and then again at 8 pm for the Philadelphia Orchestra.
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But wait, there’s more!
The first performance of the night was — believe it or not — Psalm 108.
“Awake, psaltery and harp, I will rouse the dawn!” sang the choir, accompanied by the orchestra’s violins, trumpets, trombones, clarinets, tambourines and two full-size harps. “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness…”
Not only did the choir sing every verse, it was emblazoned across the classy, tasteful yet impossible-to-ignore marquee above the stage. Psalm 100, too.
And thus we honored and praised God at Carnegie Hall in the heart of New York City.
Guess what the second song was?
Psalm 23. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He taketh me to lie down in green pastures…” and then a few verses of Psalm 2, and Psalm 131, and Psalm 133.
The last verse of that song: “Behold how good; And how pleasant it is; For brethren to dwell; Together in unity.”
They called the concert “A Tribute to Leonard Bernstein by the Philadelphia Orchestra”, but I know better.
It was a tribute to God. Even in the heart of one the most sophisticated, powerful, wealthy cities in the world, people can’t help but glorify and honor God.
As I sat high above the 2,500 people in Carnegie Hall last night, I wondered what God was doing in their hearts, minds, souls and spirits. How were they responding? What were they feeling? Maybe they were as shocked and awed as I was…or maybe they were angry and offended.
How is God surprising you?
If you haven’t felt delighted, awed or enchanted by God lately, it’s time to take a step — or even a leap! — of faith.
Maybe it’s something as small as asking a ticketmaster or store clerk for something extra. Maybe it’s something as big and scary as taking a trip by yourself, or starting a new relationship. Maybe it’s something as risky as quitting your job and going back to school, or allowing your kid to go to summer camp alone this year.
Maybe it’s forgetting yourself, and allowing God’s spirit to infuse you. Maybe it’s allowing people to think what they want to think, and not trying to control them.
Maybe it’s digging a little deeper into your relationship with Jesus. How? By learning how to actively receive His grace, love, peace and joy.
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“Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with people who have undergone terrible tragedies but whose perspectives gave them an amazing strength that enabled them to handle the pain. Equally I have seen people devastated by a relatively small challenge. It’s down to the framing the individual uses.”
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With His love from New York City,
P.S. Your thoughts – big and little – on my Blossom Tips or anything in this blog post are welcome below! Feel free to share how you are, what you’re struggling with, or what you want God to do in your life. I don’t give advice, but I read every comment. You are welcome here…say a prayer, say hello, or just say your name!