On Saturday I was privileged to enjoy a delightful orchestra concert in Cardiff. Huw Gareth Williams was conducting the Highfields Symphony Orchestra. It was especially enjoyable because Huw (sounds like Hue) has been part of our Cor Deo fellowship for the past months so it was an investment of heart for me as a listener.
I sat in the second row in a place where, as I focused on Huw, I could also see the first violinist in the foreground and the lead cellist in the background. It was a delight to watch the full effort and to hear the tight precision: together with the dozens of others in the orchestra they all moved with one accord in playing their separate roles.
At times Huw’s left hand would drop as his right hand was occupied with conducting strokes of the baton and I noticed that it was still partially spread with visible tension. While his hand was free for that instant it was still fully invested with energy because Huw, as a whole being, was wholly involved in what he was doing.
The next morning after the concert I was still reflecting on what I had enjoyed as I came to Luke’s gospel in my morning Bible reading. There I read of Simeon being promised he would see the Messiah before he died and then read his response in seeing the infant, Jesus: “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace . . . for my eyes have seen your salvation” (Luke 2:29-30). I reflected on how God, in his immeasurably greater way, is the conductor of all that exists, and he had given faithful Simeon a chance to strike a beautiful note like distinct chime in the melody of the gospel.
In Jesus we find God present to us in fully human terms as he conducts the movement called “Salvation” in the symphony of creation. Each element is in place. Although he created hundreds of millions of people through the centuries only a percentage are responsive to his invitation to join the orchestra. From his point of view there must be uncounted instruments strewn unused in the closets of life. Nevertheless his purpose is to engage all those he knows personally—his chosen players—in the greatest of all symphonies.
My own place in this divine orchestra is small but important. My role blends all but invisibly into the whole in a way that helps accomplish the outcome of vibrant beauty. As the Lord is leading us, leaning forward with an even greater passion and devotion than Huw offered in Cardiff, my proper response is to be at one with him.
So my refreshed ambition today is to play my own role in a full and fitting response to his orchestrating love. And I hope you are enjoying the concert as much as I am!