“Your solemn processions are seen, O God…the singers in front, the musicians last, between them girls playing tambourines.” from Psalm 68:24-3
Yesterday we were at St. Pius X Catholic Church for our granddaughter’s ending performance to this week’s camp on “Little Miss SPX Pageant.” All week long they practiced walking, talent and answering the “world peace” question. Yesterday was the two hour pageant. Abby won the prize for the “Most Courteous.” I thought that was a great award. She did a wonderful job and smiled her beautiful smile all the way through.
As we were waiting to go into the old gym, we were talking with some parents in the hallway. In jest, I asked one father if he were singing today? His very quick response was “Oh, you don’t want to hear that.”
A pastor friend of mine tells that when she was young, whenever she sang in church choirs, her father always felt obliged to tell her, “You know I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.” Then he would say, “When I was a little boy, I was invited out of the church choir. First they invited me in, and then they invited me out.” He would laugh, but he told me this story often enough for me to know it mattered to him. He would say that it freed him up to spend more time playing “kick the can,” but it had to have hurt at the time.
I think his church choir director confused worship with a concert. In her quest for perfection, she left in her wake a little boy who grew up to be a man afraid to open his mouth and sing.
In the psalms, we often hear about music. Sometimes the processions are solemn, sometimes they are joyful, but clearly, our music matters to God.
When the children’s choirs of four to six year olds sing at any of our churches, let me tell you, it is not a solemn procession. Amped up on donuts and the thrill of the moment, they wiggle and squirm on the steps in the chancel area of the church. They sing their little hearts out, many of them in tune. There seems to always be one little boy who sings real loud and very off key. They bring delight to everyone in worship, including God. They may not all be musical geniuses but they are learning that their voices matter to the one who created them.
Dear God, remind me that I do not have to be a concert musician to have my voice be beautiful to you. Thank you for allowing it to be pleasing to you, even when I make up my own notes. Amen.
Grace and Peace