Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
Week of: October 18, 2020
Scripture: Exodus 33:12-23
"If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people." The Lord replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
(Exodus 33:13-14, NIV)
I have a terrifying suspicion that when church gets back to "normal," rather than picking up in the same way, I'll be starting over. Many of my volunteers are aging, have tasted the sweet fruit of commitment-free Sundays and will be stepping away. Some of my choir members feel they have lost their voices after months of not singing regularly. The usher ministry will never look the same. In every facet of worship ministry, there are big changes ahead.
During this pandemic, our jobs as worship artists have fundamentally changed. Instead of working with my ensembles on blend, tone, and diction, I'm coaching them on how to record and submit video projects! Our media team's skills in visual worship presentation have shifted to editing software and online collaboration platforms. Church has left the building.
In this week’s text, Moses is on the precipice of some really hard leadership days. He says to God, "You have been telling me to lead these people," and Moses is not sure what that looks like. God is still calling us to lead these people — our people. We lead them to find their voices again, help folks transition into new volunteer ministries, and hone our (new!) skills. In the midst of great change and challenge, God gives Moses a promise: "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." I pray that we find God's rest, but more — that through these difficult days, we will continue to experience God's presence as we are shaped into new worship artists and leaders for the people we are called to lead.
God of all gifts, thank you for the gifts of artistry and leadership you have instilled in us. Send your presence with us as we navigate new art forms and new ways of leading your people. Grant us your peace and holy inspiration! May Christ shine in all our endeavors. Amen.
Laurin Daniels Allred
Director of Music Ministries & Worship Arts
Muir's Chapel United Methodist Church
Photo: Danny Lyons leads a rehearsal of the Advanced Handbell ensemble during Music & Worship Arts Week 2019. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)