On the Sunday after the outreach several of the group suggested you join the choir. You hadn’t realised one existed. Not seeing yourself as a singer, it appeared the only qualification you needed was to love the Lord. On Thursday you joined thirty people – young and old, fat and thin, black and white and were disappointed that they didn’t sing similar worship choruses you had enjoyed at Chris’ youth nights. Fred, the Musical Director, elderly, and of small stature, stood on chair to be seen and strove to bring harmony to the different voices which worked until a ‘holy fervour’ took over. The black peoples’ passion certainly injected life into the hymns, although it was difficult to hear the piano, and the older and weaker voices were drowned out. Remembering your outreach experience, you had hoped the building’s acoustics might improve the singing, but it didn’t!
Several of the group after the choir practice were off to the pub, but the only Spirit you wanted to imbibe was the Lord’s. You waited to speak to a tired looking Fred. He smiled warmly at your approach, listened when you spoke of your difficulty in singing acapella in the street, but when you suggested that those who could sing acapella were being drown out by the more enthusiastic and passionate members of the choir his consternation was such, that you backed off. Dismissively, he abruptly declared, “All God asks for is we make a joyful noise. It’s important we continue to strive to be one in Him, our unity brings blessing.” Puzzled at that, you wanted to comment that unity comes when people make room for each other and that a cacophony of sound blessed no-one. However, you were no longer surprised that the choir didn’t feature in Sunday services!
On the following Sunday when you arrived several choir members insisted you sit with them. It was only then you realised the choir wasn’t there to perform, or lead the singing, but sitting together in several rows at the back of the church, they sang to encourage the rest of the congregation to join in.
Word: “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth make a loud noise, rejoice, and sing praise” Psalm 98:4 (KJV)
Worship: “This Amazing Grace” Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir 6 mins