A stroll through a quiet, empty church is sometimes good for the soul. When you allow yourself moments like that it is amazing what you will hear.
The other morning in the early hours my walk led me to a back room which currently is the home of closets, file cabinets, and extra choir chairs. Oh yes, there is a spare piano, and a bunch of this and that.
As I slowed my pace even more I heard the faint sound of music and what sounded like very faint voices singing. At first, I thought it so faint as not to be able to know the tune. Soon though I knew it wasn’t simply one song but several. I almost wished I had a pair of headphones so as to sharpen my focus and hear more clearly what was being sung.
I stopped by the file cabinets and opened one drawer and then another. As the drawers rolled open, it was as if long ago Sunday worship services were resurrected. Exposed to the light, they were given back voice, a voice with strength and conviction.
Opening up the closet, there hanging neatly were the choir robes. It wasn’t difficult to picture them today. Yet, I also could see faintly those who had worn them in the past. They, who had lent their voices to the glory of God in many a worship setting on Sunday mornings. I wondered how those folks could sing out with wounded or broken hearts. Knowing that in spite of pain that through it all – God was and is still on His throne.
I finished my stroll by entering into the choir loft and sitting among the empty chairs. There were some music folders, some on the seats, others resting on a chair leg. I heard the director’s voice call out the song to begin practicing, the rustle of pages being turned, conversations continuing to their conclusions, moments of intense rehearsing. The keystrokes on the piano and the full voice of the organ. Questions like, “can you play page such and such again, because I just can’t get it?” or that quiet affirmation of satisfaction when it just felt right and the barely audible voice of the director’s past and present saying, “Hallelujah – they got it!”
My stroll through a back room filled my heart as I reflected and heard the sounds of music. The Psalmist words are still true. For I know that the songs of the past, present, and those yet to be sung say “Sing to the Lord a new song…”(Psalms 33:3)
Thank you Lord for strolls in the church.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Mark E. Horn