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September 9, 2020 at 12:42 pm #4689officeKeymaster
Noticings…September 9, 2020
If this was any other year (as if we needed another reminder that it isn’t!) I would be gearing up to restart our Sunday Night Worship service. I absolutely love that service. I’ve never really understood why it hasn’t caught on more. Its audience usually averaged around 20-25. Clearly I wasn’t doing it for the throngs of attenders, or because of deafening popular demand. So why’d we do it? It’s because we love the music so much. That modern praise and worship music with electric guitars, and drums, and synthesizers, and sweet harmonies – rocking out one minute then gently and prayerfully playing the next. It’s transformational and transcendent – it takes me into spiritual places no other music takes me. And for me as a singer, well, there’s just nothing like belting out what is my heart music. Does it also feed my rock star fantasy? Sure, except for the part about the thousands of adoring fans! Obviously, I’m joking, but I cannot deny that I’m missing that worship experience so much in this season of covid-cancellations.
Really, at the heart of it is that I love singing worship music – praise music, classic hymns, new hymns, choir music, Taize, all of it. Of course, I still get to sing on Sunday mornings (as you are subjected to each week) but it’s not the same. I think the biggest difference is that I’m singing by myself. There’s something about singing together (whatever style), especially in church, that just makes it feel better, and deeper, and (dare I say it) more holy.
Singing is one of the most heart-wrenching losses for me in this pandemic. Imagine if we came back to in-person worship right now, with only 45-50 people in the sanctuary, and no one except one worship leader was allowed to sing. Even people who are mortified by the idea of being heard singing are happy singing in 2 places: their shower, and their church! That sweet, sweet harmony, and even that weird and wonderful, holy cacophony of joyful noise that rises up when we sing together at church, is for now muted. And that’s tragic!
When you sing in church it isn’t for accolades, or evaluation, or the benefit of anyone. It was, and is (and will be again!), for the sole purpose of expressing the sacred love in your heart through the lifting of your voice in whatever beautiful, holy noise emerges! When people of faith sing praises no mask can, well, mask it! And that we can’t hear that joyful noise every Sunday is hurting my spirit.
I can only hope and pray that when you’re tuning into our Sunday morning livestream, that you are, indeed, singing your heart out in your living room, or your deck, or wherever you are – that you’re singing with abandon, just like in the shower, oblivious to who might hear. Because in truth, we really only have an audience of One. So sing out! Sing loud! Sing true! Sing praise! Sing to your heart’s desire, because really, that’s what God’s heart desires.Shalom,
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