When I was a little girl I sang in the Chorister Choir at Northminster Presbyterian Church. I would walk to the church from school on Wednesday afternoons for practice. Somehow going on a day other than Sunday was very mysterious; it made me feel like I was part of something special, like I knew something not everyone knew. I loved the choir. I loved the golden robes with big white bows around our necks. I loved singing. But most of all I loved singing in church. I loved it when we filed out of our chairs in the choir loft and stood on the steps of the chancel. We weren’t supposed to wiggle or fiddle with our robes. We weren’t supposed to wave to our moms or make faces at our siblings. We were supposed to stand quietly, watch our director and be ready to sing. Our director, Mrs. Kistler, told me that we acted this way because we weren’t really singing for our parents or siblings or even the pastor. We were singing for God. I was quite young, maybe 8-years-old, but I knew what I was doing was special.
I wish I knew how they got that into me. I wish I knew how Mrs. Kistler and all the other adults who helped with the choir taught me that singing in worship was so important. They gave me such a gift. All of my life I have carried the lessons I learned in the Chorister Choir. When I sing in worship I sing for God, I sing for hope, I sing for love, I sing for sorrow and I sing for joy. There is nothing that happens in my life that should have the power to take away my song. Music, whether I am singing or listening, is a way to offer myself to God in whatever state I am. There is a passage in the Bible that captures how I feel when I sing in worship. 2 Chronicles 5:13-14 relates how everyone in the temple of God joined together in unison and sang to God. It says that as they sang, a cloud filled the temple, “the priests could not preform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.” Imagine music so powerful that the glory of the Lord filled our sanctuary and we could only stand in awe as we absorbed that glory.
This Sunday our choirs and orchestra will share a Christmas Cantata. I suspect that while they sing and play we will catch a glimpse of the Glory of God. Come and listen, come and sing. Allow God’s glory to permeate your heart. But don’t just come yourself; invite your neighbor or co-worker. They may not know what beauty and wonderful mystery awaits them this Christmas. The music they experience on Sunday may cause them to want more of what Christmas is all about. They might discover what I learned as a child; that God is worthy to be praised and adored. So come, let us adore him!