“Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Tell of his salvation from day to day.” -1 Chronicles 16:23 (NRSV)
My guilty pleasure is singing along to music in the car. The Beach Boys make Seattle traffic palatable. On my coffee runs to the Starbucks at the George Hopper exit in April 2020, I used to sing along to my praise playlist on my iPod. Eventually, I will make my first Trader Joe’s run since March 2020, and I am trying to decide what music will accompany that trip. Since I don’t get to scratch my musical itch with choir, this has to suffice for the moment.
Being able to sing is a large part of how I engage my faith. God speaks to me more often through hymns and choir anthems than through Scripture or something audible. One of the hardest things for me in the last 18 months has been not being able to sing hymns with the congregation even during Zoom because of the small delay on Zoom that makes it hard for me to be in sync with the music. I missed singing Christmas carols (though I will admit to sitting back and listening to David Sloat sing because of his amazing voice), and there are certain Easter hymns that I missed out on for two Easters straight. While I was able to participate via virtual choir anthems, it is not the same as singing live with a choir because you are recording by yourself and don’t have the benefit of others around you to help you tune and whose energy you feed off of as you sing.
As we are now back in the sanctuary, getting to sing hymns in the choir loft is saving me right now because it is how I am slowly getting back this thing that feeds me so much that the pandemic had taken from me. Until things get completely back to normal and our church choir resumes, however, you will find me in the driver’s seat of my Subaru Impreza singing along to Rend Collective.
Thank you, Lord, for giving us the gift of music and the ability to pray twice through making it. Bring us through this season of limited music opportunities and bring us back together in our choirs soon. Amen.