Sunday, June 7, 2020

Virtual Music Mission Day 1: Sunday

I didn't know how this would work or what it would be.  I still don't.  It reminds me of my first few music missions years ago, where I wasn't completely sure anyone would buy into it, and even if they did I wasn't sure I would be able to make it a meaningful experience. Honestly there are times I still worry about those things.

So when the time came at 7:00pm to start the music mission, I didn't know what would happen.  People started showing up, though.  Chaperones and youth.  Before long there were about 37 people on their computers or other devices...all ready to be a part of, well, a part of something.

I had originally planned to show them the concert video tonight, but I didn't.  I have decided to livestream the concert video on Wednesday, and we will watch it together then.  I said a few words to gather us, and then I read the Great Commission.  This was our scripture for worship this morning, and applicable now. We are commissioned to go into the world and make disciples...and we are assured that we are not alone: Christ goes with us.

I know this is true, because it turns out Jesus was just over my shoulder the whole time...

DashBoard Jesus in the house!

Fortunately Mark was able to join us on zoom tonight.  If you don't know him, he has been driving us on music mission for a number of years now.  He's great, and we all love him to pieces.  So after we read our commission, Mark told us all about the bus, specifically warning us not to use the bathroom too much because it will be there all week.

And then we were off.  Our first leg would have taken us as far as Nashville today, and we would have watched a movie.  We decided to watch Remember the Titans.  I love this movie, and also it seems especially fitting given the state of things just now.

In the movie we see a rapid transformation, and I typed into the chat, "I wish it were that easy."  After the movie was over, I told the youth this was like a workout montage.  You know what I the movie where the hero starts exercising, the music swells, and 3 minutes later they are ready for the main event.  But that's now how it works.  The works is harder than that.  It takes more commitment and a longer attention span.  Let's be clear.  We have a lot of work to do.  It won't be over in three minutes or an hour or a day or a month.  I added that I don't know exactly what I need to do...yet.  But that we have a responsibility to seek answers to that question and set about the work of justice.

That feels like a cop out to me.

Next we talked a little about letters.  This is one of my favorite parts of the music mission, writing letters, and we will be doing that this week.  Not tonight, though.  Tonight we talked about why we write and what we hope to accomplish.  Typically we write thank you notes, but what is most important is connection.  Hand written notes build bridges to connect us with others.  So I asked them to begin thinking about who they might want to build bridges with--who they might want to connect with--and to come tomorrow with their paper and pens, ready to write.

Finally I "sent them to their rooms."  Using the breakout room feature in zoom, I grouped them with roommates and chaperones to have some time to get to know each other and visit.  I went to each room as well, to chat with them for a bit, let them know what to expect tomorrow, remind them to eat breakfast...all the things I would typically say when I come to them for that last visit on tour.  I gave them a few extra minutes to visit, and then I ended the meeting.

It's funny.  I'm ending this night just like I end all of the nights on tour.  I'm typing on my computer about what happened today.  I have fewer pictures, fewer stories, and maybe nothing at all interesting to say.  There were no junebugs in the vending machines. There was no fudge guy to sing to.  We didn't have to run the middle school boys out of the energy drink section at the truck stop.

Still, I want to believe somehow, some way we will make a difference this week...and that, like so many trips before, we will be better for it.

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