A Pastor's Perspective 12-05-2023

Harmony happens in peace. Music is something I love deeply. Favorite childhood memories entail nights sitting in the living room with people singing. While someone played the piano, another propped a guitar in their lap and another placed a fiddle under their chin. Then, the living room would become a "living" room alive with music. The extended family in the living room did not happen as much as I would have liked, but the stereo was there for the times they were not. Dad had such outstanding records. A conductor named Annunzio Paolo Mantovani was among his favorites, and I found comfort in the way the house filled with music when Dad would play those records.
My little brother has made a living making music, but while I love music, I do not have the acumen for it. The rhythm thing escapes me. I learned to play the guitar a bit, taking lessons and practicing at home, but again, the rhythm thing ... oh yeah ... that whole tone thing too ... I do not get it either.
So, once Beverly said "Yes" to me, the guitar went in the case, and there it stayed until it sold in a garage sale. Nevertheless, what I know about music is that harmony happens in peace. And when peace leaves, so does the harmony.
The last four days of "The Tree" have been wonderful. That is to say, they have been full of wonder. There have been points in each “Tree” performance where I stood in wonder or sat dumbfounded at the talent, lyrics or beauty of it all.  
And all of it exists because of peace. There is too little peace and, therefore, too few places where harmony can live and beauty can sound forth. Six times from Thursday night to Sunday night, we offered Fayetteville a place of peace around "The Tree" that sings; sings in harmony because of peace—six moments of sanctuary from a restless world, in our Sanctuary.
As we look with Hope to the second candle Burning Bright we see Peace on the horizon. However, after such a great "Tree Week," I felt compelled to note this peace we have at Snyder, which produces such beautiful harmony. That peace is a threat to our enemy and will constantly be under threat on this side of heaven. I suppose this is why Paul admonishes us, "(be) eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." - Ephesians 4:3
As we rightfully and humbly rejoice over "The Tree", as we gratefully thank Richard Suggs, Donna Davenport, Giles Blankenship, Andy Dauphinais, and Sara Barefoot and all those who labored so hard to make "The Tree" beautiful, let us bow in that gratitude and ask God to make us eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Fayetteville needs a place of peace, full of people of peace. Fayetteville needs Emmanuel. May we continue to be among those in our community who walk closely with the God who became one of us, to be God With Us!
Looking forward,  Blake