Devotion: It's Only Words
This devotion comes from one of our long-time choir members, Tim Sheie. Tim shared this devotion at one of the first rehearsals of the new season, on September 22, 2015.
The Lord be with you. As we begin yet another busy season and new members introduce a few even-newer members, I’d like to talk about communication – communication of the text of our music—but more importantly our communication with each other.
I had a troubling experience a week ago after our Sunday worship. Like many churches, my church kicks off the program year with their Fall Rally Day, and tables are set up with representatives from all kinds of activities and programs discussing their thing… as I walked around, I was standing with my back to two men and could clearly hear one speaking to the other. It was what he said that was so troubling—so hurtful, untruth
ful, mean-spirited… now for me as a PK (show of hands, please?), on the way home from church on some Sundays, sitting in the back seat I heard my mom talk about having ‘roast pastor’ for lunch on Sundays, but this recent conversation was just mean. Perhaps the German term for it is pretty close: ‘schlagwort’.
Talk like that reminds me of the three pastors of large Lutheran churches who used to meet off-site to plan and discuss texts, and they were longtime friends and confidants. During their talks, the first pastor cautiously revealed to his friends that he had a longtime problem with alcohol and was in treatment and making progress with the problem. In the same way, the second pastor felt safe enough with his friends to share his difficulty with his marriage, where he had compromised his vows and was in counseling with his wife to heal the wounds and move forward. Finally, the third pastor likewise turned to his friends and said, “Well, I’ve had a lifelong problem with gossiping, and boy, I can’t wait to get home..”
Pastor Peterson of East Overshoe Lutheran heard some talk at the Main Street Café that he had a drinking problem, and he heard it from more than one person. Asking around, he discovered that the news was coming from one person in his congregation. He quietly pulled her aside after services the next weekend and asked why she was spreading this rumor, and she says, “Well, it must be true—I saw your car parked in front of the bar all night last Saturday.” He struggled with how to find a solution to this problem, and…small towns being what they are, the following Saturday night he parked his car in front of her house.
Let us resolve this year as a group, as a family, yes as the Body of Christ, to speak directly and truthfully to each other, to take the initiative to include and reach out and get to know to those in our family that you know less well, and --as some of you probably memorized at one point—fear and love God so that you put the most charitable construction on all that they do. Our relationship with each other will then in turn also be reflected in the dedication to our craft and the spirit and message of our music. Perfect vowels alone just won’t cut it.
Let’s pray: Lord, let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our rock and our Redeemer.