Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Stuff That Keeps Me Going When Other Stuff ...

Sunday morning had been a mixed bag. I felt I had done only an OK job of leading in the 8:30 service. First Light stepped up to the plate and made some really beautiful music … but the pace of things felt a little bit off … a little bit disconnected. Then as the Sanctuary Choir prepared for the 11:00 service, it became clear that we would have only 11 instead of our usual 20+. I had just come from the sanctuary were I had met a couple of guests. I had seen them in the 8:30 service, and they told me that they wanted to stay and experience the 11:00 service as well. All the while I’m thinking, “They won’t see how things usually are at 11:00 with half the choir gone.” As First Light did in the 8:30 service, our half-choir sang beautifully (with David singing the bass part instead of accompanying on organ). The morning still left me feeling somewhat a failure in my responsibilities, but thankful for those around me who made up for what I lacked.

In the wake of all of that stuff that I was feeling, this happened in the middle of Youth Choir on Sunday afternoon: At the end of “Sometimes I Hear God’s Music” (Williams/Martin), chills went up my spine when they got to the last “Praise God forever!” Their sound was glorious. As Dawn worked with the second sopranos who wanted to make sure they had their notes right a 7th grade tenor motioned me over, saying, “This is just awesome!” “What is?” I asked as I walked over to him. “These words right here,” he said, pointing to the phrase ‘… of a love that faileth never.’ “They’re just incredible … awesome.” His face was radiant with realization that God’s love never, ever fails. The truths of scripture were being firmly planted in his heart … and he loved it!

I’ve said it before. Asking me which style of music or worship I like better is like asking me which of my children I love more. And to denigrate one style or the other … or to put down those whose prefer a different style … is to stab me in the heart. After 8+ years of working to bridge the gap (the contemporary service started a little over a year before I got here) we’re still allowing worship style to divide us as a body. We call it “my worship” when it really doesn’t belong to us at all. And it’s not about style … it’s about substance … it’s about truth.

All creation sings together of a love that faileth never.
The music of forever. Praise God forever!

The music of forever is not an organ, piano, guitar, or drums. It is the music of our hearts responding to God’s love that faileth never. That’s enough to think about for now. The peace of Christ to you.


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