Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
In September, the Chiles High School auditorium became the stage for a truly memorable event – the presentation of Rob Gardner’s Lamb of God. A poignant and powerful musical journey, it skillfully narrated the final days of Jesus’ mortal life, from His miracles to His crucifixion and resurrection.
Attendees were not only treated to a moving performance, but were immersed in a story that transcends time – a narrative of hope and salvation. The emotional resonance of the music and the profound spiritual connection lingered, making this year’s rendition equally unforgettable.
“I remember when it happened almost ten years ago,” said Kerline Wright of Tallahassee 4th Ward. “That’s why I was so excited to go again. Feeling the Spirit through song, in that way, is something you don’t forget. It was so well done. And now I have this one to remember.”
What set this performance apart was its inclusivity. Beyond the familiar faces of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, organizers, led by Blair Clawson, the stake Communications director, aimed to extend the impact to the wider Tallahassee community.
The result was a diverse ensemble, with members from various faiths, including John Wesley United Methodist Church, Abundant Life and Restoration Ministries, East Hill Baptist Church, and more.
“When we set out to do this, we really wanted to reach beyond our own members to our brothers and sisters in the Tallahassee areas from other faiths,” said Brother Clawson. “There are many in Tallahassee who share our love for the Savior and wanted to participate in sharing this gift with our church to share this gift with the wider community.”
Pastor Bethany Douty of John Wesley United Methodist Church set the tone with a message of hope and unity, emphasizing the common ground found in Christ. Brother Clawson then took the conductor’s stand, leading a collaboration of choir, orchestra, and narrators through the final days of Jesus’ mortal life including His raising of Lazarus, His jubilant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the heart-wrenching arrest and crucifixion of Jesus, and His triumphant resurrection. Each movement engaged the audience in the deep emotions of those closest to the Savior: Mary and Martha’s despair and confusion when their brother died, Peter’s anguish over denying Jesus, Thomas’s doubts, and ultimately the overwhelming joy they all felt over the Savior’s victory over death and hell.
The event wasn’t just a performance; it was an hour and a half of collective musical worship that resonated with the audience.
Organizers encouraged a spirit of reverence by requesting the audience to refrain from applause. This allowed for moments of reflection and gratitude for the extraordinary events at the end of Christ’s mortal life and his resurrection.
Ben Smith, the Tallahassee Stake President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in his closing remarks, invited the audience to stand as a gesture of appreciation. This simple act by the audience proved a powerful demonstration of love and appreciation – not only for the musicians and their efforts to pull it together, but for the Savior as well.
“It was powerful,” said Sister Wright, “much more so than any applause could have been.”
From the perspective of the choir and orchestra members, conductors and narrators, Lamb of God wasn’t just a performance; it was a gift to the community, bringing people of different faiths together to celebrate a message of hope and joy that resonates far beyond the walls of the Chiles High School auditorium.