I had no idea what to expect. As my wife and I began the trek from Berkeley across the bay to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, I was curious and excited.
The closer we got on our mass transit journey the more we were surrounded by people, a sense of excitement, and an unspoken camaraderie. We got off our final bus and moved along the streets in a throng of humanity pouring towards the large open field that was the space for the day’s events.
As the music grew louder, the positive energy seemed to radiate all around us. After we settled into our spot on the grass I began to look around and was blown away at the amount of people that had flooded the park. I slowly settled in for what would be one of my favorite concert experiences of my life.
A mixture of music, yoga, speeches, more music, dancers, and performance art. It was incredible.
The year was 2009, my first in Seminary and my (soon to be) wife and I had received an invitation to come to a free concert/festival organized by Michael Franti.
The name of the festival was Power to the Peaceful, and as I shared above, this experience was one that moved me beyond my expectations.
Yes, the music was beyond incredible (this was the first I had ever heard Michael Franti and Spearhead, so mind was blown, plus Blackalicous and the Indigo Girls both performed), but it was the experience and story of the festival that moved me into a deeper appreciation.
After the event I became curious about the origins of such an amazing FREE event.
I found out that Michael Franti had created this festival in response to the 9/11 attacks and what he saw as the overpowering fear that was sweeping the country. He felt that he needed to offer something that promoted what is possible when humans are at their best.
And more then that, he decided that rather then being simply “anti-war” he wanted to be “pro-peace.”
In reflecting on the Advent theme of Peace, this experience resurfaced for me and left me reflecting on much of what I see on social media today.
How much of our energy is spent posting and speaking out against things we are “against?”
Are we being “pro” that change we wish to see, or is our energy spent on being “anti.”
What would it look like to offer our energy towards “promoting” the good.
What would it look like to change our daily actions to manifest peace?
What if instead of posting links to speeches from politicians that we deride, we instead posted stories of those songs that bring us light, hope, and yes, peace.As we prepare the way for the coming of the universal Christ Love, let us become aware of what we are presenting to the world and how we might shift from being “anti” to “pro.”
Every day our actions and intentions help manifest the world we live in, what actions of love and peace are you going to share today?
The work of preparing our hearts for the coming the Christ light calls to us to continue to “make room” for the unexpected. It calls us to Rise Up into our own power, knowing that our daily thoughts, actions, and intentions set the path for the space in which this love will be made manifest.
I believe that we have a role in manifesting the energy and light of Emmanuel, God with us.
Here is a song to get you started….
Last week we had a more contemplative song for clearing our mind space, this week we let the music of Michael Franti move us into embodied prayer through positivity, and dance (if your so brave).
Invitation to Musical Meditation
Track: Michael Franti & Spearhead “Once A Day”
Find a space where you can be alone and uninterrupted for the next 4 minutes.
If you are willing, I would encourage a space where you can move and grove and let the rhythm move you into dance.
Or again, you can take this song and walk with it allowing the music to free your heart space.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
Rev. Corbin Tobey-Davis was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. Corbin holds an undergraduate degree from Doane College (a historic UCC college in Crete, Nebraska), and a Masters of Divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. In August of 2011 Corbin was called as the associate minister of Youth, Young Adults, and Community Ministries at Parkview Congregational Church UCC in Aurora Colorado. Corbin is also a drummer, a hip-hop freestyle cypher Emcee, a community organizer, and considers ministry one expression of his art. He believes in the power of art as means to transcend boundaries, build community, create ritual, and connect with the Divine essence of life.