This Monday my daughter and I attended the Santa Barbara Gay Men’s Chorus’ holiday concert at First United Methodist Church. When we arrived there was a line of people waiting to get in that extended down the street outside of the church. It was a cheerful, happy crowd of people who were looking forward to a night of energetic music. The Chorus did not disappoint. There were fun songs, serious songs, classic songs; there were songs from musicals, songs from movies, and even a song from the radio that I remember growing up. Some of the chorus members shared personal stories, others read lines from powerful historical speeches. There was even some hilarious choreography to finish the night. It cheered the soul!
But beyond the entertainment value, there was a very meaningful sense of purpose that undergirded the evening’s performance. The title of the concert was “Sing the Darkness to Light.” It’s a title that asserts with confidence that the light will overcome the darkness. There are times when we really need to hear that message. When we are overwhelmed by our newsfeeds, or when we endure long periods of difficulty, we can start to believe that the darkness—i.e., greed, cruelty, cynicism, and violence—has the upper hand, and that love is weak in the face of it. But, Monday night was a reminder that when we gather to sing, laugh, listen, cry, and cheer one another on, the darkness is banished away and all that remains is the light. The concert was dedicated to Raymond, Kelly, Daniel, Derrice and Ashley—beloved brothers and sisters who were killed in Colorado Springs. Although a deeply disturbed person with a weapon could end their lives, their light could not be extinguished. The Santa Barbara Gay Men’s Chorus made sure of that.
I was inspired to say the least. The power of community to serve as a light in the face of darkness is immeasurable. I believe that St. Andrew’s serves as a light for many (it certainly is for me). We are blessed to have at our center the very source of light itself—God as revealed to us in Jesus Christ. As we enter the darkest weeks of the year let’s look toward each other for that light. We are blessed to have so many people who offer hope, including the amazing Tim Accurso, the artistic director of the SB Gay Men’s Chorus who is a light to us and many, many more.