In March 2020, the cessation of live worship due to the pandemic was sudden and personally painful. Although much of my work at Grace is in business, my heart and soul are strongly connected to people who praise God with their voices and instruments. It isn’t just the ‘end product’ that feeds me; it is the relationships with people; digging deeply to discover and reveal what each song has to say; and working with others who joyfully share their creative gifts - their unique Imago Dei (image of God) - to express our collective faith in meaningful and memorable ways.
When our pastors decided to “go remote,” we were half-way through Lent. I had just finished leading the third of six rehearsals with an ecumenical choir, preparing for a concert that included a premiere and a jazz mass that was planned as a celebration of the joy of grace promised at the end of our journey toward the cross. All of a sudden, everything just STOPPED. No music. Nichts. Nada.
When it became clear live music making would not happen for the foreseeable future out of an abundance of concern for each other, I explored virtual possibilities. I also worried because mastering new technologies is not one of my gifts. My husband, Graham, took the first step forward, saying, “If you organize it and find people to participate, I will help make it happen.” Hours normally spent rehearsing were suddenly invested in finding and creating arrangements for our music-making members – adults and youth – so they could share their gifts virtually (and legally, considering copyright issues). I felt surrounded by angels as people signed up to participate.
Some of you may be familiar with the Lucas Cranach painting of Martin Luther in a pulpit, pointing toward Jesus so people would give the honor and glory to God and not to Luther for his words. This rings true for music: Soli Deo gloria: “to the glory of God alone.” Thanks to many angels at Grace (including my husband) who continue to create a colorful palette of sound, all for the glory of our Creator and Redeemer.
One of my favorite Bible passages is Phillippians 4:6 - “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” I called for musical angels and God answered by sending them!
The people of Grace reflect on the Bight Spots for the 2021 Lenten Devotional. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily for a new reflection.