Preparing for Worship – Abbey Adcox, ministry assistant.
Typically, this Sunday would be our annual Spaghetti Lunch & Silent Auction benefiting Wilshire’s Youth Choir, and the students would be deep in preparation for singing and serving on Choir Tour this coming June. Now, instead of weekly lunch fellowship and hour-long rehearsal, they practice for 15 to 20 minutes in the parking lot a couple of times a week and we are holding onto hope for Choir Tour 2022. Before too long, we will once again see those teens gracing our chancel steps — some sleepy, some eager, some reluctant and some singing with full voice.
I’m sure it is not a coincidence that today’s anthem is a recording of the auditioned youth ensemble Shekinah singing “Sing Me to Heaven.” It’s one of my favorite pieces to hear them perform, and I imagine this anthem will always bring Shekinah to mind for me. The composition is evocative, and the words so beautifully capture the power of music to touch us throughout life’s journey. Our greatest joys and deepest sorrows are so often marked by music, and “Sing Me to Heaven” vividly captures this truth. Just as singing “Blest Be the Tie” transports me to the feeling of an old friend’s hand in mine, and “As The Deer Pants for Water” calls to mind the serenity of being surrounded by female voices singing a cappella, our hymns bring us to God.
Life sometimes feels like it’s lost a bit of its sheen for me these days. New experiences are nearly nonexistent and human interaction is minimal. I ache for memories that aren’t being made. Each day feels like the one before and I sometimes find myself at a loss when I pause to pray. My heart is ready, but the words don’t come. Gandhi observed, “It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” Thanks be to God for music and poetry that fill the gap in our words.
As you experience worship this week, allow the music to envelop you. May you feel the love of Wilshire surrounding you, may you feel God’s presence deep in your soul, may you feel transported to heaven.