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April 27, 2009

Touched

I was trying to go to sleep and just couldn't. It's been in my heart all night to write about what happened at church tonight and I finally decided I needed to get up, come back in here, and do it.

My wife talks about "getting a blessing" at church. Usually this means something has happened during a service that has touched her and made her remember why she goes to church and connects her to her faith. It might be a scripture or a line from a sermon or a song or a prayer or something completely obscure to anyone but her, but when it happens it is a real connection, and the meaningfulness of it cannot be denied. I don't get that sensation myself nearly as often as she does. I'm not as religious as she is, nor as faithful. My blessings at church usually come from watching other people get blessed, and seeing the joy she gets from it. When she's happy, I'm happy. When she's blessed, I'm blessed.

Tonight at church I got a blessing of my own.

It was because of the kids. I've written on here before about the wonderful youth group we have at our church. Our church is small in terms of membership, but we have a disproportionately large number of kids. This morning when the kids got up and went to children's church more than half the congregation left the sanctuary. We have a large, vibrant youth group. Tonight, the youth that were at the evening service had rehearsed a couple of songs in sign language that they performed for us, then the singing began.

Usually on Sunday night we'll line the kids up in front of the platform and sing a few songs with them, then they'll take a seat and the grown-up Praise Team will take over. Tonight, for some reason, someone had the idea to put the kids in the choir section (usually empty on Sundays) and turn on the overhead choir mikes. They had a blast. There were maracas and wood blocks and tambourines for them to bang away on--one of the girls was using Beverly Boggs's big tambourine and I saw a couple of other kiddie-sized ones getting used as well. There was singing and clapping and dancing in the choir like I've never seen on a Sunday night. Some of the adults in the crowd were joking that the Sunday morning adult choir better be looking over their shoulders. At least, I think they were joking.

I stopped singing along at some point and just started listening to the kids sing. It wasn't particularly melodious--at one point I think some of them must have been having a contest to see who could sing the loudest--but it was passionate and honest and pure. It touched me. More than once I had to wipe away a tear, even during some of the more upbeat numbers.

I don't know if I can remember everyone who sang but I'm going to try: Jewel, Jessica, Morgan, Jazmine, Kayla, Brendan, Bailey, Matthew, Hunter, and Dylan. I think that's everyone. I don't know if the other Hunter was up there singing or not. If I left anyone out, I'm sorry, and I hope someone will please comment and remind me who they were. Kids, thank you for a wonderful night of music, and thank you for giving me such a blessing. It's nights like this that make me glad we found this church. I've always said it feels like a family. Tonight showed that to be true yet again.

I want to thank whoever had the idea to put the kids in the choir area tonight. Watching them perform gave me hope for the future of the church. It's a small church, and seeing the next generation getting into the spirit of the music tells me the future might be in pretty good hands. After the service was over I urged the pastor, as well as Lynn (the youth leader) and Mark (the music director), to make children's choir a permanent part of Sunday night services. I think it would add so much to the service. The church bulletin always lists the Sunday morning music as being provided by the Adult Choir. I'd love to open a bulletin someday and see that the Sunday night music is to be presented by the Children's Choir. I think that would be pretty cool.

2 comments:

tyler said...

Aw...u make me wish I had been there! I get tears in my eyes a lot with music especially with the children. Mark said to tell you he will see what he can do to implement a children's choir on Sunday Night and get it in the bulletin! We are so glad u guys found our church too!

tyler said...

oh yeah and btw I use Tyler's email to leave messages on blogs! Have a good night :)