““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
Isaiah 55:8-12 NIV
This blog is late because I was just too busy having a wonderful time to blog last night!
We started the day at St. Giles Cathedral, where those of us in the choir would be performing a lunchtime concert. Just walking into the cathedral was a powerful experience. I understood, in that space, that the architect worked hard to make the entire building speak to the vast glory of God. The vaulted ceilings, the immense amount of space, the pillars that seem to soar into the sky, the beautiful stained Glass windows – it was all quite overwhelmingly beautiful.
After having some time to just take it all in, our wonderful guide Kirstie lead us about and taught us some of the history of this church – the birthplace of the Scottish Reformation. Every time I am somewhere that has existed for centuries, I’m reminded of how young Canada is. I felt that in the Chapel Royal at the Tower of London, I have felt it countless times at various sites in Israel, and I felt it again, listening to the stories of St. Giles, dating back to the 1600’s. Simply amazing.
After our tour we began to rehearse – which was its own interesting experience! The cathedral is open to tourists, some of whom stopped to listen to a few bars, as we prepared.
There was a short spoken-word service, and then it was time to sing. I cannot begin to explain how it felt to sings songs of faith and songs of Canada at St. Giles. I had tears rolling down my cheeks the entire time (and clearly the Holy Spirit was present, as I was still able to sing). As we began our rendition of “The Lord is my Shepherd” – literally as soon as we had sung the words “the Lord” – the sun peeked out from behind the clouds and shone upon the pillars. It was absolutely transcendent. And the entire performance was full of soul-stirring moments like that.
There is much more to say, so hopefully this will only be part one of this post!