Monday, December 27, 2010

Hymn Singing

Leading the music in church is frustrating.

Half the people are not singing.

The other half are not watching you.

I think Christ often feels this way, offering the Atonement, guiding us with perfection—and we’re either not singing or not watching.

Some people don’t think singing the hymns is important. They don’t think uniting their voice with 300 other voices to sing praise to the God who made them is an essential part of their worship. “That’s why we don’t just have church alone in our house!” Mom exclaimed. “It’s a uniting experience.”

Not for the teenage boys who sit with arms crossed, it’s not. They are some of the ones who look at me. Defiance. It’s pointless for them. Pouting is pointless. Open your mouth! I want to make an announcement over the pulpit. Or, rather, a shoutment over the pulpit: God doesn’t care if you can’t sing a thing. He accepts our measly offerings all the time—awkward lessons taught, stumbling prayers uttered—from a pure heart, He accepts these. God doesn’t care if you are embarrassed or tired or (what are the excuses? I don’t even know); He cares that you love Him and that you’re sitting in that pew because darnit, you want to be better this week and you want to be closer to Him. So yeah, it makes total sense that He would exempt you from singing out to thank Him and commit yourself to be more like Him. It makes sense, He wouldn’t want that. He only wants perfect offerings.

If you understood, you would sing. It would not matter if you couldn’t hit a note. You would offer up that prayer. You would say amen to all the other people praying with you at the very same time. You would give a little of yourself and feel the swelling that comes from feeling that connection, like, Yeah. We all believe this together. We believe in the Christmas songs we’re singing, even if it’s December 26th. We believe in the Savior who atoned for us, who we will now remember with loving hearts and determination to do better. If you understood, you would feel that.


In your quiet moments, what do you admit to yourself about knowing God?
Or, do we give up our quiet moments to avoid knowing what we would admit?

Why are you afraid to let this thing be out in the open air—to write it down or say it out loud? If it became your truth, would you just have to do too many hard things? How long will we trap ourselves in the petty webs we weave—pride, grudges, refusing to let go?

We’re very good at hiding in the tangles.

1 comment:

Lauren said...

Amen! I love this. So true. I like your comparison to Christ and the Atonement.