Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Choirmaster (A Spiritual Tragedy)

When Michael arrives in Mud Valley, New York, to teach music, he encounters one Eva Joseph who shepherds him to Mud Valley Church, where his musical talents blossom overnight. The evangelizing power of his gospel music is an instant blessing to the church; church coffers and pews soon overflow. But Michael’s spiritual gifts soon turn into a curse to the congregation. His undoings are his malleable nature, easygoing manners, and big persona on the music stage.

Four spinsters within the congregation are in contention to domesticate Michael, and prospective mothers-in-law are exhausting their recipes, throwing weekly dinners for him and his choir. But Eva, a poor girl with no particular ancestral pedigree, has pitched her tent in Michael’s heart, knowing that, at his core, Michael is human, weak. Constantly attacking Eva’s flanks is Jane Caleb, the daughter of socialite Risper Caleb—a mother whose dedication to the interests of her daughter make a joke of Mrs. Burke in the show Keeping Appearances.

When Jane suddenly hosts Michael in the Caleb mansion overnight, rumor mills run amok. Smitten and vengeful, Eva falls on one Saul the Snake. Violated, Eva walks away with the weighty secret, and quickly traps Michael. A dejected Pastor David blesses the union, hoping to end the infighting over Michael’s heart among powerful families in his congregation. However, Michael's marriage to Eva fails to douse Jane’s passion. No wonder, three years later, Jane and Michael are caught in a tryst. Amid the uproar, Jane bites the apple, with Pastor David’s acquiescence, and Risper Caleb gets her wish, eventually.

Mrs. Kay David’s question, “What mother celebrates when her daughter snatches a man from his wife? What church community readily honors such a celebration unless her children drank the milk of perdition?” well captures the tragedy in her husband’s church.

Joseph R.Alila.

The Choirmaster: Honey, I'm a Priest

“Honey, I’m a priest; I wash my hands with sin, stuff my pillow with sin, and rest my foot on dark sin. They ordained me to walk among sinners, eat with them, sing with them, dance with them, and still come out praising God. I’ll attend the Calebs’ party. I’ll not spoil Jane’s day. After that, my destination will be Michael and Eva’s home, if they’re still together. Do you want to join me, dear?”

“I don’t want to be intoxicated on palace wine. Moreover, unlike you, a priest, I’ve no insurance against sin.”

“Well, the Cross is your insurance.”

“I don’t want to be like Disciple Peter who overexposed himself and denied Christ, thrice, as a result. Honey, if you choose to explore the muddy waters of Mud Valley, I’ll escape with my children. They’re beginning to ask questions, hear things from their friends, and talk their language.”

“You’re becoming a bigot, honey.”

“No. It’s about 2 Corinthians 6:14. You’re trained to handle the hazards, my children aren’t.”

Joseph R. Alila, The Choirmaster (A Spiritual Tragedy).