Meg is “great with child” – literally, the little guy is due next week. So going to the Royal Parade was out of the question. Okay, not out of my questions, but out of her answers. Still, school was closed, so we went to Granny’s and watched with the family. It was pretty awesome to cheer the world series champs and see Ned Yost carrying the trophy – stop, ponder, smile uncontrollably… the Royals are World Series Champs! – It was fun to watch the players and wonder how they found so many blond wives. Wonderful to hear the shout-outs to George Brett. Even better to watch series MVP Salvy stop for selfies and to sign a baby!
Then came the stage at Union Station. There were a couple mic-drops1 but overall it was pretty basic. I kept wondering, where were the actor cameos (Eric Stonestreet is a huge fan.)? Isn’t Idina Menzel going to sing “Let it Go” only change the words to “Take the Crown”? I asked the girls about it, and Darcy lamented there were no drumming babies. Phoebe thought the players would sing and dance (life is a musical at our house). Ivy wondered where was the Macy Day parade Charlie Brown balloon. I thought there should be a magician2. I expected fog machines and fireworks. But the stage was just the players repeating thanks. Next came a highlight reel, for which the TV crew wasn’t prepared and had to film the projected video. Then it was over… not a single drumming baby!
1 Both mic drops were by the Jonny Gomes, a back-up outfielder. He actually did an okay job as Emcee. Though he verged on inappropriate, and I noticed how announcer, Ryan Lefebvre, held tightly to both mics after the second drop!
2 The magician could call up Alex Gordon. “Poof” in the smoke he disappears. Where did he go? We will find out next year! (Since his contract is up.)
At some point I realized, the amazing event wasn’t happening on stage. The event was happening in the crowd. What Jarrod Dyson called a “cool million” was estimated to be a crowd of 800,000 – from a metro area of 2 million. The city shut down for the parade. Schools called off. Businesses closed. Everyone who could flooded downtown. Highways and streets backed-up and the wireless networks were overwhelmed (a quick sign was made, “Cell phone signal like its 1985!”). Kids were climbing trees along the parade route – Zacchaeus style. Among the mass there were only three arrests. The crowd was filled with laughter. Smiles. Claps. High-fives. Cheers… It was jubilation.
The crowd, not the stage, was telling the story. After 30 years of defeat, the Crown has come home. And the players on stage realized it was the crowd’s day. They wore sweatshirts that said “Thanks Kansas City.” And everyone of them praised the crowd.
This is like church. Worship may appear to be happening on stage with the music or the preacher. You may even believe it to be happening on stage (this is why we so often celebrate or complain about service elements). But worship is happening in the congregation. The stage could be filled with rambling, unorganized, mic droppers – but if the congregation is ready… if their hearts are prepared to worship… Jubilation.