Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Flat (01/03/13)
TITLE: The Trumpet's Sound
By Lillian Rhoades
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Every day after lunch, heaven’s angels gathered in the outdoor music dome to listen to Gabriel practice his cherished trumpet.
Chosen to one day herald the coming of the King’s return to earth, Gabriel never missed a practice. Younger angels were allowed to join the adults, while baby angels were tucked in for an afternoon nap. Angels, clothed in fine, white linen with gold belts glistening in celestial light, sat enthralled as Gabriel played; a scene mortal man could only imagine.
With the skill of a Maestro’s touch, Gabriel performed without missing a beat. Pitch perfect, eloquent tones resounded throughout the heavens and floated to the Throne Room. Every breath pushed forth notes wrapped in velvet melody. Surely, the King was pleased.
Whenever the practice session ended, and the music stopped, groans rippled throughout the angelic audience. Although the heavens always rang with heavenly jubilee, no one could play the trumpet like Gabriel.
One afternoon as the angels assembled, their muted voices rumbled throughout the dome. The sound of flapping wings mingled with muffled murmurs. Before Gabriel began the session, news had already spread. Lucifer had been caught in a scandal and was forever barred from residing in heaven. This came as no surprise to the angels. Lucifer’s jealousy of Gabriel had long been known. Every angel agreed that Gabriel’s ability to play his trumpet surpassed Lucifer’s talent on the stringed instruments. This opinion was not lost on Lucifer, heaven’s Minister of Music and choir director. During every choir practice, the animosity between Gabriel and Lucifer agitated more than a few choir members.
But the buzz that drifted throughout the multitude signaled something more sinister than mere jealousy of Gabriel, far more than the angels had ever imagined.
When all the facts were finally made known, no one expressed regret. Lucifer had been evicted from heaven because his jealousy reached far beyond Gabriel and right to The One who sat on the throne! Pride and ambition to take over the King’s throne was his downfall.
Small wonder, they concluded, that he was merely convicted and cast out, and not consumed by the King’s wrath.
As soon as Gabriel began to play, the buzzing ceased. But no heavenly melodies echoed throughout the celestial landscape. It only took a minute for the angels and Gabriel to realize something was terribly wrong. The harsh sound that came forth from Gabriel’s s trumpet and vibrated throughout the gentle zephyrs had never been heard before.
To everyone’s surprise, the lilting tones that once scaled the octaves and turned an afternoon’s practice into a concert gave way to a brash, monotonous sound. Gabriel’s trumpet could only play one note – B flat.
How could this be, the angels mused. How will Gabriel play his trumpet when THAT day comes?
Suddenly, from a front row seat, a little angel stood up. His wings fluttered, and with trembling voice he spoke.
“I know what happened to Gabriel’s trumpet. I saw Lucifer bend one of the valves before he departed.” When the little angel finished speaking, cries of dismay spread throughout the waiting throng.
“So Lucifer finally got his revenge, a malicious act, indeed,” an angel shouted from the crowd. “Wherever he is, you’ll find trouble. I’m glad we’re rid of him.” A shout of affirmation arose from the crowd, but Gabriel silenced them.
“It’s a dastardly thing that Lucifer has done, but why do you worry about his revengeful act? Do you not know that the King who sits on the throne has all power in heaven and earth?”
“Oh yes,” the angels replied in unison.
“But do you think B flat…” another angel began, when suddenly a Holy Presence encompassed the angels and infinite radiance turned daylight into dazzling light. From out of that light, a voice like the boom of ten thousand drums began to speak.
“I am He who sits on the throne. *
I have declared that when the time comes, the trumpet of God will sound. ** Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” ***
As quickly as it came, His Presence slipped away, and eternal light became eternal day. For several minutes the angels sat in silence.
When Gabriel picked up his trumpet and began to blow, majestic notes like never before resounded throughout the heavens and floated to the Throne Room.
The angels shouted, “ALL GLORY, ALL HONOR, and ALL PRAISE to the King.” And the King smiled at the angel’s jubilation.
*Rev. 21:5 **1 Cor.15:52 ***Romans 12:19
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