Journey with John
I was in fifth grade when I discovered its wonder-working power. We gathered in the gym for an assembly where our guests were from the high school! The crowd grew quiet as the older students convened on the risers down front. Out walked a man who stood at the center of the students. As he did so, we all began to applaud. He lifted his arms; there was a hush as each high schooler focused attention on the man. Suddenly, his arms came down and the choir exploded in glorious sound! It was my first experience hearing a large choir. I was enthralled, each note caressing the air and blessing my waiting ear. It was wonderful and I knew I had to be a part of the magic….
Since that day, I’ve been a member of many choirs. Each time the music begins, I relive that fifth grade enchantment. I have an ever growing respect for what happens in a choir. The music doesn’t just happen. The choir doesn’t decide to get up and sing, confident everything will fall into place. The director chooses music, studies it, prepares for it. Then, the conductor spends hours with the choir making sure each chord is perfectly tuned, each rhythm carefully executed, every dynamic accurately observed. But, the work doesn’t stop there. The director teaches the musician must fall in love with it, feel every pulse, thrill to every note. You must LIVE the music! My latest experience is with the Lafayette Master Chorale as we prepare for a stunning concert titled, “The Peaceable Kingdom.” It has taken 14 weeks of hard work and tremendous cooperation to be ready for our concert on April 15. It requires a certain humility to blend with the total sound and not be on display. When music happens, it is the most glorious gift I know.
I’m struck by how similarly the church must function in order for the faith to live. The choir (Church) must study the music (God’s Word), fall in love with it and live it out. The church must ever turn towards its director (God) for the right cues, the proper rhythm for life, and a clear understanding of how it all works together. It takes hard work, cooperation and humility. Having just shared in the Easter joy, we know the beauty of God’s song. Under the inspiring direction of our Lord, life can be glorious! I’ve discovered that as I give myself completely to the music of God, the divine becomes ever more beautiful. Since the first time I experienced the Church making its holy music with God, I knew I had to be a part of the magic…. I pray one day every person everywhere will be a part of that wonder.