Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘choir’

Where has the music gone?

Where has the music gone?  I mean the kind we made ourselves.  When I was growing up in a tiny country church, we had “special music” every Sunday morning AND every Sunday evening.  My dad, the pastor, had to arrange for all of it, and I remember him calling up different ones asking them if they would sing.  Sometimes it was a couple, sometimes a ladies’ duet or trio, or a solo, and not infrequently it was some of us kids singing duets or trios.  This is how my sisters and I got started—singing with each other, with friends and later with our mom.  We had those old “Favorites” songbooks we’d pore through, finding just the right song to sing.  And if it coordinated with the sermon, all the better.

That church was too small for a choir, but in the next church Dad pastored, we had an occasional choir.  And in the next one, Mom started and maintained a choir which she directed. 

Music that we made was an important part of our worship.  Why? Well, here are some possible reasons:

–It allowed us to develop and use our giftings for the Lord, even if we were not professional quality.  (You know the saying, “If only the best birds sang, the forest would be silent.”)

–It got us involved serving in the church, feeling a part of it.  We were active, not passive.

–It familiarized us with songs beyond those in our hymnbooks, those not designed for congregational singing.  I have a wealth of songs in my mind and heart from childhood—hundreds and maybe thousands.

–Some of us learned to sing parts.  (Unfortunately that didn’t include me—I’ve always stuck to the melody.)

How many churches have “special music” nowadays?  Why?  Are we missing out on something?  Does this affect us spiritually?  What do you think?

How Far from Here to Heaven?

Tears came as we sang “Hallelujah to the Lamb.”  We were in a small group of a dozen or so, but in my mind were other settings:  One was in church singing the same song ten days earlier with hundreds of people.  But even more, I visualized the larger choir that we were a part of:  the family of God all over the earth and in heaven—of all races and languages since the world began. 

More specifically, I pictured my newly-departed granddaughter in that choir, singing beside my dad (also who “couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket,” as he said, while on earth) and with David the psalmist—all in beautiful harmony side by side praising Jesus, the Lamb on the throne:

Lord I stand in the midst of a multitude
Of those from every tribe and tongue
We are Your people redeemed by Your blood
Rescued from death by Your love …

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!  Hallelujah to the Lamb
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! By the blood of Christ we stand
Every tongue, every tribe, every people, every land
Giving glory, giving honor, giving praise unto the Lamb of God  (by Don Moen)

I turned to my husband and asked, “How far do you think it is from here to heaven?”  We think of heaven being gazillions of light years away, somewhere outside our universe.  But I suspect it’s much, much closer than we realize—in another dimension just beyond a gauzy veil.  When our songs of praise and those of our loved ones already in God’s presence join together to delight His ears, just imagine the glory!  What a privilege to be part of that! 

One more note here:  I was blessed yesterday to read a friend’s blog about an experience in a dentist’s chair where her dentist started humming the song, “Because He Lives.”  That happened on July 3 here in the eastern hemisphere.  Calculating the difference in time, I realized that this was within the same day (July 2 in the US) when we grandparents and parents were singing that same song around the newly-vacated body of our beloved granddaughter, Emmeline.  (It was her lifelong favorite song. The lyrics are below.) Do you think someone in heaven was coordinating the music?  I think so—and with a smile. Smile Note

God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Chorus
     Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
     Because He lives, all fear is gone;
     Because I know He holds the future,
     And life is worth the living
     Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

And then one day, I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict’ry,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He reigns!  (by Bill Gaither)

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