Week of: April 19, 2020
Scripture: John 20:19-31
Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
(John 20:29, NIV)
I recently began singing with a chamber vocal group in my community. The director of the ensemble is the Director of Choral Activities at the university in town. To celebrate a new acquisition of a 16th-century chant manuscript, we were learning chant. A couple of weeks into the rehearsal process, he sent me a text and asked me to sing, saying, "It'll be fun, and we need another tenor."
Chant is different, y'all. I haven't read neumes since we talked about them for a couple of hours in an undergrad music history class. Trying to shift between universes and be comfortable reading new clefs, and different understandings of what note goes where is different from what I'm normally used to. Learning that music required the hardest music-learning work I've done in years.
We have all kinds of opportunities for doubt. We doubt our own capabilities, we doubt each other, and there is a degree to which we need to doubt. Maintaining a healthy skepticism keeps us curious about finding real answers.
But as the scripture shows us, we also need to be open to things that might bring us great joy and hope.
In the midst of a global pandemic, it's natural to ask questions, doubt each other, and doubt our own capabilities. In the midst of that, though, let us continue finding ways to make art and offer those moments of joy, hope, and love in a world that needs as much of it as it can get.
God, be with us in the mess. As we collectively work through a crisis, let us believe in ourselves, believe in each other, and continue to be your hands, feet, voice, and heart in our communities.
Isaac C. Garrigues-Cortelyou
Director of Music
Vestal United Methodist Church
Photo: The Chamber Choir rehearses during Music & Worship Arts Week 2019. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)