This Sunday’s anthem is one that many of us can sing with our eyes closed. And one hand tied behind our back. Probably both hands, really, since if our eyes are closed we won’t need to hold the music. After we ran it a couple times, though, the director made a great point: When you know the song really well, you can listen even more closely to other parts.
Worshiping communities are like choirs in so many ways. Choirs are groups of people who could all sing on their own (mostly), but come together so that their music is stronger or more complicated or widens with all the voices. It doesn’t have to be difficult music – even unison pieces sound different when sung by a group.
Gathering for worship does (ought to do) the same. Sure, there are days when you think “I could sing this solo better than we sound as a section.” But in general – and the more we practice being together- our worship is deeper, wider and different when done by a collection of voices.
Sometimes the repetition gets old or boring or easy to fly through without paying attention. But the words we know well, the stories we’ve heard before – those help us listen more closely. For the community’s nuance and rhythm. For voices that are loud and voices that aren’t heard at all. For phrases that catch our eye for the first time because we could listen more deeply. The beauty of the group can be easier to find when we don’t have to just find the notes.