Is there anything more beautiful than the music of the church? And, no, I’m not talking about our great praise team at 8:15am and 9:30am or our wonderful choir at 11:00am. Jason Landers and our musicians are certainly outstanding, and Jonathan Nease, Jessica Taylor, and Mark Locke have a way of finding the best in all of us and blending voices and instruments as only gifted and knowledgeable leaders can, but I’m really not talking about those guys either. I’m talking today about the rich and magnificent harmonies that rise from this symphony hall on Pine Road every week. Have you listened lately?
Sure, I’ll admit that to the untrained ear the sounds of a normal week around here might seem un-musical at best and maybe even cacophonous, but I’m something of an expert in the field of church-music-that-really-isn’
Take, for instance, Sunday night. The whole orchestra was in perfect tune. I heard the conversations of adults moving from table to table at the mission fair and the squeals of children bouncing in, and sliding down the inflatables outside. Then there was the magnificent rhythm of young and old chomping together through a few hundred hotdogs and hamburgers, followed by the ever-popular medley of desserts (The music of Methodists at mealtime—there’s nothing quite like it). After 6:30pm the evening came to a masterful crescendo as a choir, 300 strong, of adults and kids laughed and shouted their way through an original, avant-garde work called “Xtreme Bingo” (not to be confused with the beach-blanket variety). And beneath and through all the other music of the evening, the Kitchen Angels and other amazing volunteers performed their latest masterpiece of hospitality.
Do you see what I’m saying? Bach has nothing on our folks. There is a music that isn’t really music at all but is almost heavenly in its beauty. I heard it again Monday night in an all-male chorus of United Methodist Men and Wednesday morning as I peaked in the door of a women’s Bible study, and Wednesday evening again all over this place. For a pastor, there is nothing as moving and magnificent as the sound of a congregation loving, caring, praying, and serving together. It is music to my ears … and soul.
As I think about it all, however, one question nags at me: Are we the makers of the music, or are we the instruments?
I’m pretty sure the answer is yes.
Rev. Mark Westmoreland