We had our Children’s Musical yesterday morning – “Coming Home.” This was the 3rd musical that my wife has written, in as many years.
If you were able to join us on Sunday – you saw the story of Papa, his wife Lovie, and his granddaughter Allie. We’ve been following these three through the course of all three of these musicals. Papa has an incredible way of telling stories, and tying in Biblical parables and principles. This musical picks up a few days before Papa’s church Homecoming service. He’s explaining to Allie what a typical country-church homecoming service looks like – complete with worship, dinner on the grounds, and then back indoors for a singing!
We then pick up the action with a scene at church. Papa, Lovie, and Allie sing through a few verses of Victory in Jesus. We then hear a vocal solo of I Bowed on My Knees and Cried Holy, followed by a piano rendition of the Lord’s Prayer (Malotte). As the pianist is playing the final few bars of the Lord’s Prayer – Papa’s leans his head back, and dies.
The rest of the musical deals with what Papa may have seen as he experiences Heaven for the first time, as well as the Peace that transcends all understanding invading a family completely in shock over a sudden loss.
The thing about that story… it’s completely real. It really happened, almost 18 years ago. Mandy and I, while we were still just dating, attended her grandfather’s homecoming service. They had worship, then we had dinner on the grounds, and went back in for a singing. We sang Victory in Jesus. Her grandfather actually led the singing, and i even remember him saying “and ON THE LAST!” Mandy then sang I Bowed on My Knees and Cried Holy. After that – I played the Lord’s Prayer. I was sitting at a keyboard, not 4 feet from the front row of pews where Mandy was sitting, along with her grandfather and grandmother. The offering plate came. He dropped $20 in the plate, and then passed $20 to Mandy, pressing it into her hand. He then looked forward, and as I finished the “for Thine is the kingdom, power and glory forever” section of the piece, he put his head back, and was gone. It was shocking, and beautiful, and tragic, and absolutely amazing.
I’m so proud of my wife, OMPC’s kids and the countless volunteers that worked so hard to bring this story to life.
With the full context of that morning – you may want to rewatch the video we showed…
//player.vimeo.com/video/88158643 Coming Home, Main Sequence from Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church on Vimeo.
The musical included over 80 kids, and a slew of adult volunteers. From choir leaders to sets to costumers to props; construction, painting, stage direction, dancing – it was remarkable to see so many people come together to join in presenting this amazing offering.
For those of you that don’t know, and care – my wife and I have an interesting process we go through as we put these together. She started writing this one before the 2nd one had even been presented. Mandy – with her incredible imagination, sees the entire musical, from set to scenery, dancers, music, script, actors, staging – all in her head, before a single note is written on a piece of paper.
She and I then sit down at our piano in the den – and she’ll sing the tunes, while I put some scratch accompaniment to it – most of the time we’re working from a melody in her head, with the lyrics that she’s written. After we get a good scratch product together, we record it onto a voice memo on my phone. I then bring it to the office to create charts and tracks.
Mandy starts rehearsing the choirs in August, and through the course of normal Sunday afternoon rehearsals, and many, many Saturday rehearsals with dancing groups, soloists, small ensembles, and actors, we arrive at what happened Sunday – a remarkable, beautiful reminder of the hope we have in Heaven.