Monday, May 26, 2008


I had a very unique experience yesterday. I got to be part of a choir, for just a moment, made up of singers who had attended Emory & Henry and had been part of the Concert Choir sometime within the past 50 years. There were more than 200 voices strong. I was brought to tears several times as I listened to them from the congregation. I did not sing for the entire service because I decided not to go up for the entire weekend of rehearsals for several reasons. However, I did sneak up and join in for the Lutkin Benediction and 7 Fold Amen.

It was also a special experience because it may be one of the last, if not the last time that I will see "Doc", our former director. He is suffering from a form of dementia, and I could see the effects of it in him. That broke my heart, in itself. I watched him direct and tried to memorize it--his expressions, his motions, how his emotion would show in his entire being. I have discussed, and even heard a sermon about why this man and this choir means so much to those who have been in its ranks.
It isn't easy to describe to someone who hasn't 'been there'. I guess it must be something akin to playing on a championship team with a superior coach (not that I have any point of reference there, folks!). But maybe that is what it feels like. It is a kinship and a team related feeling to work together to bring forth the best sound possible. And what makes it even better is that you are doing so for the glory of the Lord.

Yes, Doc is just a human being. But when he is directing, he is also an instrumentalist, and we were his instrument. He tried so hard to finely tune us to raise our voices On High. I don't know how else to describe it. I tried to describe my experience in Austria with the choir in this post--maybe it'll make more sense!

And then, in addition, to have the emotions that come with going 'home' to Emory, a place where I lived for 4 years and did a great amount of living, loving, and growing up.....I was simply overwhelmed. God was certainly in the chapel, and I'm pretty certain that He was pleased!

It was also very good and comforting to me to be in a honest-to-goodness UNITED METHODIST service. I won't go into a diatribe on that, I'll just say that I don't get to experience the ritual that I have grown up with and love so much each Sunday as I'd like. This, too, added to the rush of emotions I was feeling.

I don't know....maybe this isn't making any sense to anyone but me, but I wanted to get it down and be able to remember what I felt yesterday. I also wanted to add some
hymns and scripture that was in the service. If you don't wanna read all that, feel free to skip, but please do leave me a comment! (hint, hint!)

When in Our Music God is Glorified

Psalm 98:4-9 (Message)
Shout your praises to God, everybody!
Let loose and sing! Strike up the band!

Round up and orchestra to play for God,
Add on a hundred-voice choir.

Feature trumpets and big trombones,
Fill the air with praises to King God.

Let the sea and its fish give a round of applause,
With everything living on Earth joining in.

Let ocean breakers call out "Encore!"
And mountains harmonize the finale--

A tribute to God when He comes,
When He comes to set the earth right.

He'll straighten out the whole world,
He'll put the world right, and everyone in it.

Colossians 3:12-17

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ--the Message--have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives--words, actions, whatever--be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.


katyelady said...

Thanks for this. Think about posting an excerpt of this on MCC. I think others would enjoy it. And be blessed by it. I was.